Manitoba's Stories - Artefacts

RR-332

Claude Ayotte's fiddle

 

This Stradivarius violin copy was made in 1921. The front is made of white spruce wood, the back of German maple wood and the sides of mahogany. Several of the other pieces are made of cocobolo wood with ivory decorations. Claude Ayotte purchases his first violin at the age of 16 in 1936, at a cost of $ 4.95. At this time, he works for a farmer who pays him $ 5 a month. In the 1940s, he joins the air force and years would pass before he would play the violin again. After suffering a heart attack in the 1940s, he decides to buy a new violin from luthier Alex Mireault to pass the time. Mr. Mireault convinces Mr. Ayotte that he is very capable of making his own violin. After a second heart attack, Mr. Ayotte returns to the violin with even more conviction as he is no longer able to work. He makes his first violin in 1979. He learns how to do so by talking to several luthiers. He also orders books from France and elsewhere to learn more. Mr. Ayotte told us it takes almost four hundred hours of work to make a violin from start to finish. He believed that violins have a soul and that it is the role of the luthier to set that soul to the violin by installing the last piece, a small pole that connects the top of the instrument with its back, thus giving it its resonance. Claude Ayotte made 16 violins during his lifetime.

RR-338

Andy Desjarlais' Fiddle

c. 1930

 

Made in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in the 1930s, after Guarneri's model, this violin belonged to Andy De Jarlis (born André Desjarlais), a fiddler of national renown. "Fiddler" refers to a person who uses the violin to play folk music inspired by a more popular tradition rather than a classical one. Influenced by the Scottish, the French and the Métis, this tradition traces its origins to the days of the fur trade in Western Canada. Andy De Jarlis was born in 1914, in Woodridge, Manitoba to a family with a heritage of Métis fiddlers. One of his ancestors is Pierre Falcon, nicknamed "bard of the Red River". Andy De Jarlis is introduced to the violin at the age of 1. In 1934, he moves to Winnipeg and from 1937 on, plays on the radio with the Red River Mates. His career takes him to Vancouver and then to Montreal where he creates television programs with his orchestra "The Early Settlers". He returns to Winnipeg where he entertains people at socials and parties. In 1969, he is the first Canadian to win the annual award from Broadcast Music Canada Inc. Upon his death in 1975, Mr. De Jarlis had to his credit more than 200 musical compositions (jigs, reels, polkas and waltzes) as well as over 38 recorded discs.

Régis Meilleur's fiddle

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RR-466

Cello, 1885-1890

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MS-228

Eaton's tea tin

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MS-615, 617, 619 & 623

Commemorative T. Eaton Company store ribbons, 1909, 1950, 1955, 1968

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DO-1143 & DO-1150-A-C

Corckscrews

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MS-298

Beer bottle

 

Edward Lancaster Drewery settles in Winnipeg in May of 1877 and takes over the Herchmer and Batkin Brewery which had been idle for some years. Along with the brewery, Drewery assumes possession of the home connected to it, Redwood, which had been built in 1857 by William Inkster. The Redwood brewery property comprises the most complete and extensive breweries in western Canada at the time and is extremely popular, making beer, ale, porter, ginger beer and soda water. This Golden Key Brand ginger beer bottle dates to the 1890s.

MS-163

Sandstone beer bottle

 

The Brandon Brewery Company is established by Alexander Ferguson, Henry Maley and Edward Maley around 1902. The brewery itself is built in 1907. It specializes in lagers, ales, porters and carbonated waters. In 1923, the business is bought by a Winnipeg syndicate and becomes the Premier Brewing Company.

MS-129

Beer bottle

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MS-157, 162, 228, 259, 266, 393, 394, 494, 507, 584

Manitoba made products: bottles, food boxes and tins

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GG-132

Ration notebook, 1945

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GG-59, GG-149 & 153

Ration notebook, 1939 to 1945

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GG-158-A-L

Postal scale

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IS-149

Postale scale, 1988

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GG-130, GG-131

Bycicle license plates, 1951 and 1965

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IS-133-A-O

Barber's kit, circa 1930

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IS-147

Cheque writer, 1970

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IS - 103-A-B

Portable typewriter

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ARC-69

Rapeseed sample

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ARC-70 to ARC-77

Manitoban grain samples

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RR-187-A-B

Calling horn

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MS - 507

Honey can 

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AG-83

Bee smoker, 1930

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MS-648 & MS-649

Flour tin and scoop

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MS-680

Biscuits tin

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MS-685

Mechanical grain counter, 1930

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CT-582-A

Manual hand drill, 1920

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RR-837

Pingpong set, early 1900s

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RR-919

Quiz me -  Game of useful knowledge

 

PP-1198-A-C

Top hat

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RR-914

Lost heir game, 1920s

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RR-930

Shoe le Kaiser game

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RR-933

Dominoes

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RR-921

Miniature playing cards

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RR-179-A-E

Cribbage board

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RR-929

Game of Authors game

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DO-1287

Sewing accessory

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pp-747-A-K

Shaving kit

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ER-464

Bottle of miracle water from Lourdes

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RR-835

Recorder

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RR-520

Tuner

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RR-220

Jaw harp

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RR-934

Musical games pamphlet

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RR-915

Ludo board game, early 20th century

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AP-2-A

Glasses

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DA-232

Pocket watch, 1901

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RR-683

Alberta Bernier's ice skates

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PP-92

Gold top cane, 1896

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RR-162

Tractor

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PP-1003

Marc-Amable Girard's wooden box, 1874

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RR-188-A-MM

Backgammon

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RR-137

Father Champagne's herbarium, 1945-1946

 

A collection of plants native to Manitoba that have been dried and pressed between sheets of paper. This collection serves as a physical reference for various studies of plants. The collection has more than 150 specimens, collected by Father Champagne. It should be noted that some scientific terms may differ from what was noted during the 1940s.   Fleabane - Vergerette Family: Composite Lati name: Erigon Glabellus Nutt Collected from: Treherne, Manitoba Terrain: sandy hillside   Antennaria - Antennaire Family: Composite Latin name: Antennaria denikeana Collected from: Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba Terrain: sandy hillside, common to clearings   Purple Pitcher Plant (Nothern Pitcher Plant) - Petits cochons (herbe-Crapaud) Family: Sarraceniaceae Latin name: Sarracenia purpurea Collected from: Fort Alexander, Manitoba Terrain: peat bog   Jerusalem Artichoke - Topinambour Family: Composite Latin name: Helianthus Tuberosus, Subcanescens Gray Collected from: Saint-Boniface, Manitoba Terrain: woodland edge   Fringed Gentian - Gentiane frangée Family: Gentianaceae Latin name: Gentiana Critina Froel (Anthropogon Crinitus) Collected from: Rathwell, Manitoba Terrain: short and sandly grasslands   Pasque Flower (Prairie Smoke Crocus) - Anémone des prairies Family: Ranuculaceae (Buttercup or Crowfoot) Latin name: Anemone patens, var. Wolfgangiana - Pulsatilla ludoviciana Collected from: Brookside Blvd, Winnipeg, Manitoba

DD-546

"Stylistique Française, Livre du Maitre 5e édition", 1931

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ER-979

''Mes premières leçoons de rédaction'', 1915

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EE-107

Beaded fire bag, 1933

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DD-319

Louis Riel Commemorative stamp with envelope, 1970

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TFT-91

Powder horn that belonged to Ambroise Lépine

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CF-30 / DD-26

Provenance document, 1932

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ER-978

''Leçons de Langue Française Cours Moyen'', 1912

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ER-668

Association d'éducation des Canadiens français du Manitoba ribbon

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ER-661

Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba ribbon

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MM-110

Tin box

Tin box found after the Battle of Tourond’s Coulée / Fish Creek in 1885. This battle is the first meeting between General Middleton and the Métis in 1885. On April 24, 1885, Gabriel Dumont and 150 Métis soldiers ambush Middleton and his soldiers by digging trenches in the creek. Although this battle ends in a stalemate, Middleton is forced to withdraw due to a significant loss of soldiers. This allows the Métis to return to Batoche to rest and recharge.

MM-108

Rifle cartridge casing, 1885

Cartridge found in a trench in Battleford, Saskatchewan, from the 1885 Northwest Resistance. Battleford becomes the capital of the vast Northwest Territories in 1876. That same year, the newly formed North-West Mounted Police moves to Fort Battleford. The Fort plays an important role in the events of the Northwest Resistance in 1885: it is the place where Chief Poundmaker is arrested. In November of the same year, it is the site of the public hanging of eight indigenous men.

DO-1568

Ivory hook

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GG-155

Envelope which contained strands of the rope said to have been used in Louis Riel's hanging, 1969

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DA-677

Metal box engraved by Henriette Riel Poitras

Henriette Poitras (born Riel) gave this small metal box to her husband Jean-Marie Poitras. The box is adorned with an inscription: J. M. Poitras When death shall take me, think of me, your loving wife and pray to Jesus for my soul so that it may suffer less. Never forget me – Henriette

PP-1106

Signet ring

This ring remains in the Riel family home in Saint-Vital for several years. According to the family, the ring belonged to Louis Riel, but is then passed on to the family of Joseph Riel and Amanda Perreault. Mrs. Claudette Doyle (born Riel), along with her future heirs, transmits this ring to the MSBM in 2016, along with a mirror that had “always been in the family home”.

EE-103-A-C

Pemmican

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PP-883 & 884

Tobacco bags

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AA-173

Sara Riel drawing

Sara Riel draws a view of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste mission, Île-à-la-Crosse, 1874. Daughter to Louis Riel senior and Julie Lagimodière, Sara was born in 1848. She joins the Grey Nuns in 1865 and takes the name of Sr. Marguerite-Marie in 1872. She is the first Métis Grey Nun to become a missionary, leaving to work at the mission’s hospital and school in 1871, and remaining there until her death from tuberculosis in 1883. She maintains a close relationship with her brother Louis throughout her life, as evidenced by the many letters written to her over the years.

EE-173

Pipe

According to the oral history of one of the family’s lineage, Jean-Baptiste "La Prairie" Lagimodière of Petite Pointe-des-Chênes (now Lorette) receives this pipe in recognition of his generosity towards a group from the Dakota Nation. In the early 1880s, the Dakotas are still being persecuted in the United States and a group of them flee the United States military by crossing the international border. From there, they are accompanied by the mounted police to one of the Lagimodière farms (at a place known as "La Compagnie Graisse") between Lorette and Prairie Grove. Known for their generosity, La Prairie and his son Elzéar welcome the Dakotas into their homes, giving them refuge. In addition, La Prairie gives them provisions and a cow to slaughter. In recognition of his help and generosity, the Dakota Chief considers La Prairie his “brother” and offers him this pipe. Other objects are also offered to La Prairie during this ceremony, such as a beaded vest which has been part of the MSBM collections since 1971. The objects are transmitted by Elzéar Lagimodière (son of La Prairie) and by Marguerite (daughter of La Prairie) ), through two different lineages of his family. However, the story told remains the same in each of these lineages, across generations. Henri Létourneau noted an oral history that tells of one of La Prairie’s granddaughters (Marguerite Bérard) who would have witnessed these events at her grandfather’s farm in Saint-Boniface, along the Seine River in 1863, rather than in Lorette, 20 years later.

PP-1031

Black lacquered walking cane, 1885

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TRT-8

Sash that belonged to Grégoire Breland

c. 19th century

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EE-351

Wooden box made by Ambroise Lépine

This box is made of wood and painted black by Ambroise Lépine. Ambroise Lépine was born in 1840 in Saint-Boniface, to a French Canadian father and a Métis mother from Pointe-à-Grouette (Sainte-Agathe). At the age of 19, he marries Cécile Marion and becomes a farmer, a hunter and a charterer. In the fall of 1869, Lépine travels to Pembina with 14 other Métis to meet William McDougall with a letter from the Métis National Committee prohibiting him from entering their territory. Along the way to Pembina, he is elected by his compatriots as head of mission. He subsequently becomes: Captain of the guard; Adjutant General of the provisional government’s army; Representative of Saint-Boniface at the Grande Convention and a Member of the Assiniboia Legislative Assembly.  In the spring of 1870, Ambroise Lépine is president of the provisional government’s court martial condemning the Canadian Thomas Scott to death. When the Wolseley expedition arrives in the summer of 1870, Ambroise Lépine and Louis Riel become targets; they hide with acquaintances in Manitoba, Dakota and Minnesota awaiting amnesty, which had orally been guaranteed during negotiations. However, this amnesty would never come.  Ambroise Lépine ends up rejecting a monetary offer in exchange for his exile. He attempts to resume a normal life in Manitoba in 1873, but is quickly arrested and charged with Scott's murder. Eventually, he is sentenced to hang in the fall of 1874, but his punishment is reduced to two years in prison and a lifetime forfeiture of his civil rights. He is therefore unable to have property or vote. In 1875, he is offered a pardon under the condition of a 5-year exile. He refuses it. He is finally released in 1876. Ambroise and Cécile have 14 children. They are never able to settle anywhere permanently. They live in Grande Pointe and Oak Lake (MB), Saint-Louis and Forget (SK) and finally in Quibel close to Minaki (ON). He returns to spend the last years of his life in Saint-Boniface and his civil rights are restored. He dies in hospital care in 1923. Despite the circumstances, he still continued to work for the Métis in his own way: He is a founding member of the Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba in 1887. He wanted to write history as he had lived it. Unable to do it himself, he played a key role in the Union's efforts to retain Auguste Henri de Trémaudan in order to write the 'History of the Métis Nation in Western Canada', recognized as a reliable historical source. Ambroise apparently said at one point that he risked his life once for the Métis cause, and that once was enough.

EE-117

Beaded wall pouch

Mathilde Carrière, who marries Alexandre Nault, is this pouch’s owner. It would’ve been purchased in the area around the One Arrow reserve, near Batoche, Saskatchewan. Mathilde’s parents are Marie-Pélagie Parenteau and Damase Carrière. Her family was in Saint-Laurent-de-Grandin, present-day Saskatchewan, during the years leading up to the resistance in the Northwest. Her father, Damase, is involved in the rallying of the Métis and their quest to address community grievances. He participates in the resistance and is killed during the Battle of Batoche. This pouch remains in Mathilde and Alexandre Nault’s family, who later settle near Saint-Pierre-Jolys. Alexandre Nault is Josette Lagimodière and Amable Nault’s grandson. The style of this beaded pouch is difficult to determine. Some experts indicate that it wouldn’t have been uncommon for a family to say they bought an object from a reserve, rather than admit their own Métis ancestry. There are Métis elements to this piece (the stems, the mouse tracks and the foliage) however, there are Cree elements to some of the flowers. One thing is certain, this pouch would have been made by someone who was inspired by both Cree and Métis influences.

EE-366

Jean-Baptiste La Prairie Lagimodière's vest, early 1880s

According to the oral history of one of the family’s lineage, Jean-Baptiste "La Prairie" Lagimodière of Petite Pointe-des-Chênes (now Lorette) receives this vest as recognition of his generosity towards a group from the Dakota Nation. The MSBM acquires this object in 2016 thanks to the support of the Lagimodière-Gaboury Bicentenary Committee as well as Mr. Guy Savoie, a member of the extended family. In the early 1880s, the Dakotas are still being persecuted in the United States and a group of them flee the United States military by crossing the international border. From there, they are accompanied by the mounted police to one of the Lagimodière farms (at a place known as "La Compagnie Graisse") between Lorette and Prairie Grove. Known for their generosity, La Prairie and his son Elzéar welcome the Dakotas into their homes, giving them refuge. In addition, La Prairie gives them provisions and a cow to slaughter. In recognition of his help and generosity, the Dakota Chief considers La Prairie his “brother” and offers him this beaded vest. Other objects are also offered to La Prairie during this ceremony, such as a pipe which has been part of the MSBM collections since 1971. The objects are transmitted by Elzéar Lagimodière (son of La Prairie) and by Marguerite (daughter of La Prairie) ), through two different lineages of his family.

EE-362

Beaded panel

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EE-323

Leggings, late 19th century

These leggings are made by Mathilde Perreault, born Carrière (1848-1939). She’s born in the Saint-Vital Parish and attends the school there run by the Grey Nuns. She marries Joachim Perreault in 1876, in Saint-Boniface and they settle and operate on a farm near Saint-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba. Though their first child does not survive its first days, they have four more children. Her brother Damase Carrière is killed during the Battle of Batoche in 1885, and appears on the Métis Nation’s list of martyrs. Mathilde is a devout Catholic who practices Métis traditions, including beadwork. As a widow, she initially lives with her son Alfred and works for a time as Mr. Albert Préfontaine’s cook. She lives until the age of 91. She is buried in the Saint-Pierre-Jolys cemetery. Several items were found by her descendants in a trunk full of family treasures, which were transferred to the MSBM.

TFT-93

Elzéar Goulet's sash

Elzéar Goulet is born in 1836 in Saint-Boniface. In 1861, he inherits his brother Roger’s role and begins to transport mail on horseback between the Rivière-Rouge Colony and Pembina. Thanks to his work, he develops a good reputation and builds many relationships along the way. He marries Hélène Jérôme in Pembina in 1859 and becomes an American citizen. Together, they have six children. His family and his work ensure that Elzéar constantly travels between the two communities. He is called upon to join the resistance in 1869 and becomes Captain (2nd in command) of the provisional government under Ambroise Lépine. He is a member of the court martial that convicts Thomas Scott in March 1870 and is in favour of the death penalty for the prisoner. Along with André Nault, Goulet serves as Scott's escort when the latter is taken from Upper Fort Garry prison for his execution. He is also in charge of disposing of Scott's body following his execution. In September 1870 Goulet was sighted in the village of Winnipeg by a man who had been a prisoner of Riel under the provisional government. With two members of Garnet Joseph Wolseley's expeditionary force, they pursued Goulet who fled on foot towards the Red River. Goulet tries to get to Saint-Boniface by swimming across the river. His pursuers throw stones at him, including one that strikes Goulet in the head and knocks him out. Goulet drowns in the Red River. The Elzéar-Goulet Memorial Park is located in Saint-Boniface, on Taché Avenue, north of Provencher Boulevard, along the Red River. Elzéar Goulet is one of the Métis figures recognized by the Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba at its annual commemorative ceremony held on November 16th.

EE-344

Métis dress

The origin of this dress is unknown, but it was a part of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface’s (SHSB) orginal collections. Following the Musée de Saint-Boniface’s creation and over time, the SHSB transferred most of the objects from its collections to the Museum in order to focus mainly on archives. The condition of the dress suggests that it was possibly damaged during the Saint-Boniface Cathedral fire of 1968, when the SHSB museum was located in the Cathedral’s basement. Although originally catalogued as Métis dress, its cut is not typical of documented Métis dresses. There is also a photo in Library and Archives Canada's collection that shows a Dakota woman (Sitting Eagle's wife) wearing a dress with a very similar cut.