Rachael Wawin & Candace Benoit Métis Culture
Culture • Culture was divided between work and survival, and pleasure and entertainment. • The Métis come from both their European (mainly French and Scottish) fathers and their First Nation mothers. • Because the Métis were not Native and t European, they called themselves in Cree, "Otipemisiwak" which means the free people.
Religious Practices • The church was central to nearly all Métis communities, father's mainstream European (Catholic or Protestant) religious background and the traditional teachings of the Aboriginal Nation of the mother. • Many Métis and First Nations people have shunned the church. Many Aboriginal people have held on to their traditional spirituality secretly throughout the years, and many have returned these routes in the last year. • Understanding and mutual respect for both approaches to spirituality they requested a young poet who desired to one day become a priest.
Clothing • The clothing of the Métis was also adapted from both European and Native sources. • Beadwork was common, but unlike the First Nations designs, much of the formal clothing of the Métis was decorated with embroidered pattern ideas which had come from the French. • Everyday clothing was simple and functional, designed for the hard lifestyle of traveling and survival. • In the winter, a heavy coat was made this was known as a capote.
Deer moose hide mittens are embroidered with floral designs. Typical everyday moose hide wraparound moccasinswere worn for centuries as practical footwear and are still worn to this day. Embroidered floral design on leggings
Travelling • A red river cart were heavy and built for carrying several hundred pounds of dried buffalo meat and hides. A red river cart could easily be floated across rivers and creeks and were pulled by oxen, while the horses were reserved for hunting. • In the winter dog teams were used to carry supplies. • The Canoes were used to trade goods from Montreal and the shores of Hudson's Bay towards the northwest. Red River Cart.
Food • The Métis ate whatever they could get by hunting and fishing. • Bannock Ingredients • 4 cups of flour1/2 cup of melted lard4 teaspoons of baking powder (must be in a red can) pinch of salt11/2 cups of cool water • Directions • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. • Add lard and water, and mix well. • Knead the dough into one or more large balls. • Bake on an oven rack or in a cast iron frying pan at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Map of the Métis • A lot of the Métis population is seen in New Brunswick all the way through to British Columbia. • The dark pink represents a population of 2000 plus of people in the area. • The lighter and smaller colored circle represents the 1000-1999 population of people • The lightest pink circle represents 500-999 population of people • The smallest dot represents 40-499
Adapting to the land • The Métis adapted to the land by providing themselves with survival techniques. The Métis hunted for land bound animals such as fishing. Buffalo, deer, moose, elk, prairie chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese and fish were staples of their diet and whatever edible food they could eat. Their shelter consisted of wood, bamboo, tree branches and whatever skins they could use for warmth especially during the winter season. The Métis traveled by foot, canoe, red river cart and in winter relied on dog sledding. The Métis cleaned day to day by a lake or river near by. For entertainment use, they adapted by the red river jig while others sang, the furniture was put aside, cleared out for an evening of fiddling and dance. Some of the dances were the Duck Dance, The Reel of Four, Reel of Eight, Drops of Brandy, and of course the highlight, the Red River Jig. The Métis really did prove that good old fashion fun was right at your beckoning call.
Family Life • The family life consisted of the Métis child absorbing the teachings of both father and mother. • The father's taught their children mainstream European religious background. • The mother taught the children The traditional teachings of the Aboriginal Nation. • The father would hunt for food, gather living requirements that was needed to survive as a family and travelled to trade goods. • The mother would stay at home preparing meals for a day (days to come), while morals and good health to the children. • The children were taught how to play the airs, waltzes, jigs and reels on the fiddle. They also were taught how to read and the practice of their religion.
"If we don't know where we came from, we won't know where we're going."Ekosi
References • http://www.fortmcmurraymetis.org/MetisCulture.htm