M4921 | Finger-woven sash (ceinture fléchée)

Finger-woven sash (ceinture fléchée)
Anonyme - Anonymous
Northern Plains
Aboriginal: Métis
1900-1910, 20th century
Wool yarn, glass beads
12.5 x 337 cm
Gift of Mrs. J. B. Learmont
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Sash (ceinture flêchée) (57)
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Keys to History

The ceinture fléchée, or woven sash, was an important part of the clothing of Metis men in the 19th century. One historian noted that "during the long months of winter, the men, covered in their long blue caps, put on their beautiful multicoloured ceintures fléchées and drive on the roads of their colony in their carrioles drawn by their best horses." These sashes are now valued as art; recently, one was sold at auction for nearly US$5,000.

  • What

    This is a ceinture fléchée, or woven sash, made of braided wool and glass beads.

  • Where

    This sash probably came from Manitoba, where they were worn by indigenous men, particularly in the Metis community.

  • When

    The sash dates from the early 20th century.

  • Who

    The sash is described as a "chief's sash" and was likely worn by someone of importance in his community.