Nov 9, 2012
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