Thursday, 3 March 2016

Cree in Alberta

Alberta Cree Indian

Dressed to impress both horse and rider.  The Cree are the largest group of indigenous people in North America but here the postcard says we are in Alberta, I wonder if those wooded slopes are the Rocky Mountains?  The Cree feather headdresses were copied from their neighbours the Sioux but originally their warriors wore porcupine roach, that is the porcupine hair, not the sharp quills which I imagine would have been a danger to both themselves and others.  Never having seen a porcupine in real life I am no authority on porcupine roach but this photograph sure looks like how I would imagine it
Chief Duckhunter (HS85-10-27759)
Chief Duckhunter by A. W. Gelston via Wikimedia Commons
 The wonderfully named Chief Duckhunter photographed in 1913 by A W Gelston of Medicine Hat, a town in southeast Alberta in area that was historically a gathering place for the Blackfoot, Cree and Assiniboine people because  "the gently sloping valley with its converging water ways and hardy native cottonwood trees attracted both humans and the migratory bison herds which passed through the area".  

The Canadian Pacific Railway arrived in Medicine Hat in 1883 bridging the South Saskatchewan River as it steamed across Canada. By the time A W Gelston was taking Chief Duckhunter's photograph it looked like this, not much room for migrating bison  
Postcard Showing the Rail Yard c1911-1913
but an ideal hub for travelling around the area taking photographs to appear on postcards.  


Canadian Chickadee said...

There used to be a lovely pottery in Medicine Hat too. When my husband and I got married, a cousin gave us a lovely breakfast set decorated in green, white, and black plaid which came from the Medicine Hat pottery. I wonder if it's still in business? I'll have to do some checking. xoxox

Joy said...

I noticed while virtually browsing Medicine Hat that they had a Pottery Museum how nice to make a connection with your pottery set.