A Matter of Life and Death, World Cultures, North America

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A Matter of Life and Death

Object connections:

Collection A Matter of Life and Death, World Cultures, North America
ExhibitionsNorth-West Passage
User collections Re·Think Migration by marre986
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleProvenance: Back, George

Object details:

Object ID AAA2627
Description A hide mitt with red and blue porcupine quill embroidery, the seams trimmed with bird quill. There is a panel of quill woven in geometric patterns placed round the cuff which is trimmed with white fur - posibly that of a weazle or martin in its winter coat. The back of the mitt is decorated with an embroidered pot of flowers on the back. Another floral motif is embroidered on the thumb. The item is sewn with linen thread and lined with wool duffle. The pair to the mitten survives in a private collection. This type of floral embroidery was associated with the Métis people, who were of mixed aboriginal and European ancestry. It is part of a collection of ethnographic material made by Admiral Sir George Back (1796-1878). Back took part in three overland journeys to explore the north coast of America in 1819-22, 1825-27 and 1833-35. He travelled north via the network of rivers and lakes on the Canadian Shield stopping at Hudson Bay Company trading posts where he had the opportunity to acquire this type of material. His collection was bequeathed to Greenwich Hospital in 1900 by Mrs Eliza Back, widow of Sir George's nephew - the Reverend Henry Back.
Date made 1819-1834

Place made Canada
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials skin; fur; quill
Measurements Overall: 50 x 240 x 145 mm
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