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Capote1

The Metis man’s winter attire was the capote; a thigh length coat with full length sleeves which could come with or without a hood or cape. Most had small shoulder decorations made of red stroud. To keep the coat closed there were both thongs and buttons or a sash. The colour and style of wearing the capote and sash were indications of the cultural origin of the wearer. If the sash was worn under the capote, the wearer was Metis; if worn over, the wearer was of French anadian descent. The blue capote was most popular with the atholic Metis whereas !rotestant Metis purchased "##$ of the white capotes. The %udson’s &ay ompany also sold a gray capote and this style was purchased by both the atholic Metis '()$ of sales* and !rotestant +uropeans '",$ of sales*. apotes were made of both leather and cloth. Initially the Metis decorated the skin coats with painted designs. This gave way to -uillwork and beaded floral patterns as well as intricate silk embroidery called .floss/ work.
M0tis men often wore capotes1coats made from thick, wool %udson’s &ay blankets and tied with a colorful hand2woven sash. They wore leggings, and their moccasins often were beaded with elegant designs. !ainting by +. 3. !a4son, "5#6, M%3 Museum.

R.M. Ballantyne, Clerk and Chief Trader George Barnston Arrive at Tadoussac, Feb. 7, "(87. !ainting by harles F. omfort, "58".
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!ortions reprinted from 9. :. &arkwell, 9. ;orion and <. %ourie '+ds.* Metis Legacy: Michf Culture, Folk ays and !eritage. 3askatoon= !emmican !ublications and >abriel ;umont Institute, ?##7= "#5.

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Frederic @emington .The %alf &reed/ "5#?

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Free Tra""ers, "5"", . M. @ussell, M%3 Museum.

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Frederic @emington, .<n Indian Trapper/

Hudson’s Bay Blankets: %udson’s &ay !oint &lankets were popular trade goods and often used to make capotes. They were manufactured in the late ",,#s at A4fordshire, +ngland. There were also mills at 9eeds and Manchester. The indigo blue lines woven into the side of each blanket identified the .points/. These were intended to make known the siBe and weight of the blanket. < full point measured 6C inches and C point measured half that length. The standard for a pair of "2point blankets measured ? feet ( inches wide, eight feet in length

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and weighed )lbs. "oB. each. &y "5?5, the standard blanket was white with single broad stripes at each end. Ather popular colours were red and green. The so2called hief’s &lankets were white blankets with stripes of indigo, green, red and yellow at each end. These were introduced in the early "(##s and are the usual ones sold in %udson’s &ay stores today. !oint blankets were also used as coats both premade as sold by the %& or recut from a blanket. Metis and !lains Indians often wore blankets made into coats.

Last #og Train Leaving Fort Garry, "5#5 by harles F. omfort "5?,.

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Frederic @emington .< %alf &reed/ "5#".

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<n ADibway group near 9anigan, 3ask. Two are wearing capotes, "5#,

>aberiel , "5",, ADibway

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ompiled by 9awrence &arkwell oordinator of Metis %eritage and %istory @esearch

9ouis @iel Institute

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