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Beaded Metis Buffalo Hunter’s Saddle

Mr. Rick Cuthbertson recently donated to The Manitoba Museum a beaded Métis pad saddle.  His maternal grandfather, Constable Joseph Alexander Blackburn, bought the saddle when he was in what is now Saskatchewan at the time of the Riel Rebellion.  He was stationed at Maple Creek and Medicine Hat from May of 1885 to April 1890 and was among the officers who formed the guard for the Riel trial.
Photo courtesy of Rick Cuthbertson family. Used with permission. 

The saddle is typical of those used by members of the Métis buffalo brigades and illustrated in the paintings of Paul Kane.  The beading is the work of an expert artist.  The beads are small and sewn with very fine sinew rather than linen or cotton thread and although it impossible to say for sure, it was probably made in the early 1800s.

 

 

 H4-2-199. The Manitoba Museum. Photo M. Matthews

 

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Dr. Maureen Matthews

Curator of Cultural Anthropology

See Full Biography

Dr. Maureen Matthews, Curator of Cultural Anthropology joined The Manitoba Museum staff in November 2011. Before coming to the museum. she was a CBC Radio journalist and winner of five awards for Investigative Journalism from the Canadian Association of Journalists. She completed a D. Phil. in Social and Cultural Anthropology (2010) at the University of Oxford and her thesis, published as a book by the University of Toronto Press in 2016, Naamiwan’s Drum: The Story of a Contested Repatriation of Anishinaabe Artefacts, won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non Fiction from the Manitoba Writers Guild. She received an award from the Canadian Museums Association for “We are All Treaty People” an exhibit created in collaboration with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She was the recipient of a Governor General’s History Award for the outreach project Spirit Lines and was also awarded an International Guardians of Culture Award by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums for the same project.