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Photographs of the War Shirts that were loaned to Glenbow and The Galt from the Pitt Rivers Museum during the summner of 2010

Subject: Conservation, Clothing and dress, Cultural property, Museums, Art, Photographs, Quill Work, Glenbow Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing, Galt Museum, Conservation, Clothing and dress, Cultural property, Museums, Art, Photographs, Quill Work, Glenbow Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing, Galt Museum

Transcript: The Pitt Rivers Museum loaned five Blackfoot War Shirts to the Glenbow Museum and the Galt Museum during the summer of 2010. These are high resolution photographs taken by the Pitt Rivers Museum staff before they were shipped to Canada. These shirts had not been in Blackfoot territory for over one hundred seventy years. Groups of students, Blackfoot edlers and other community members were invited to take part in handling sessions at both museums before the shirts went on display. You can visit the Pitt Rivers website about the Shirts Project here: The designs were made with Porcupine quills and Bulrush or Cat tail leaves. A indigenous plant of the Americas. The dye's used to colour the quills and plant material would have been made with various plants such as moss, berries and possibly ochre. These designs are a transferred right and could only be used if that person had made special accomplishments in their life. Not just anyone can make or wear a shirt like any of these. These types of shirts would only be worn for special occasions such as ceremonies or in war for protection. Only those with special transfers can make a quill design or work with quills. The person that made these shirts would have been very skilled as not just anyone would be asked to make such a shirt.


Edgar Dewdney's collection in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum of Exeter, England

Subject: Conservation, Bear-Knife, Parfleches, Clothing and dress, Cultural property, Museums, Bundles, Art, Weapons, Horses, Dewdney, Edgar, Headdress, Headgear, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Saddles, Horn headdress, Footwear

Transcript: Edgar Dewdney was an English born immigrant to Canada in the mid 1800's. He became a government official taking the offices of Indian Commissioner to the North West Territories, Minister of the Interior and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Later Edgar Dewdney was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia. Most likely it was during his time in office that he began his collection of Native American items. Edgar asked that his collection of 101 items be donated to the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter upon his death. His collection was moved in two parts over three years. Having not had the chance to view and photograph the collections at Exeter; we have only 10 item's photographed from his collection. However, only 12 of the 101 items are reported to have come from the Plains of Alberta and Northern Montana. Mr.Tony Eccles has kindly allowed the Blackfoot Digital Library use of these documents and images for educational purposes. Documents and images are not to be reproduced or published with out permission from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. You can find the Royal Albert Memorial Museums Blackfoot page here:


Leon Rattler talks about Nitsitaapii Art

Subject: Art, Family History, Video recordings, Quill Work, Rattler, Leon

Transcript: Leon Rattler talks about his views on Nitsitaapii Art and a little about his family history. Leon is a well known artist of the Aamskaapii'piikunii in Montana.


Valerie Good Rider on her art and Nitsitaapii art.

Subject: Kainai, Art, Family History, Symbolism, Video recordings, Good Rider, Valerie

Transcript: Valerie is a well known Blackfoot artist. She has been painting for most of her life. Valerie talks about her art, inspiration, childhood memories and how her early life influenced her current art works. Valerie talks about what she views Nitsitaapii art to be and how she uses Nitsitaapii symbolism in her art works.


Wilbert Beebe on Nitsitaapii Art

Subject: Travel, Kainai, Art, Family History, Video recordings, Beebe, Wilbert

Transcript: Wilbert is an artist from the Blood Tribe. Wilbert�s mediums are sculpture, paint on canvas, charcoal and photography. Wilbert talks about his journey into the art scene and how he was inspired to make some of his most successful pieces such as �Blossom� , �Giving up the Old Ways� and �Unbroken Spirit�. He talks about being a Native artist in the United States vs Canada.


Gerry Conaty speaks on Nitsitaapii Art

Subject: Conservation, Clothing and dress, Museums, Art, Video recordings, Quill Work, Conaty, Gerry, Glenbow Museum

Transcript: Gerry Conaty is a close friend to many Blackfoot people on all four reserves. Gerry works at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, he works with the Native American collections. Gerry talks about the importance of transfer ceremonies before one can make or work with many of the Blackfoot traditional arts. I.E. Quillwork, weasel/scalp lock outfits, painted tipi�s etc. Gerry tells what he knows about the origins of some designs and meanings behind them.


Lea Whitford gives an interview regarding the Blackfoot Shirts Project

Subject: Ethics, Conservation, Murder, Clothing and dress, Cultural property, Art, Family History, Video recordings, Quill Work, Interviews, Glenbow Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing

Transcript: Lea Whitford is a professor at the Blackfeet Community College in Browning Montana. Lea brought groups of students and community members to the Blackfoot Shirts handling sessions in both the Glenbow and Galt museums. Lea talks about the meaning for her and her students to have the opportunity to see and handle the shirts and be able to attend the conference in Oxford at the Pitt Rivers.


Quill work artist Debbie Magee Sherer talks about her art and her experiences with the shirts at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Subject: Ethics, Gender Roles, Clothing and dress, Aamsskaapipiikani, Cultural property, Museums, Art, Video recordings, Quill Work, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing, Magee Sherer, Debbie

Transcript: Debbie Magee Sherer is a Blackfoot artist from Aamsskaapipiikani in Northern Montana. Debbie talks about her experiences with quill work and what she learned from the shirts at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Debbie is one of only a small handful that have the right to make quill work and transfer quill work.


Martin Schultz a P.h.d student from Germany gives his opinion on Native American Plains shirts held in European museums.

Subject: Conservation, Narrative, Clothing and dress, Men's clothing, Anthropology, Museums, Art, Quill Work, Pitt Rivers Museum, Video recordings, Schultz, Martin

Transcript: This presentation by Martin Schultz, of his doctoral research on Native American Plains Shirts, reflects extensive research in European museum collections and his personal assessment of the affiliation of shirt design elements to various tribes. The elders of the Blackfoot Digital Library wish to remind viewers and listeners that Schultz's interpretations are not informed by consultation with those who have traditional knowledge of these shirts, and that any conclusions regarding their tribal affiliation should be considered tentative until such contributions have been sought, and consensus arrived at.


Group Shirt Viewing na

Subject: Conservation, Clothing and dress, Cultural property, Museums, Art, Video recordings, Quill Work, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing, Brown, Alison

Transcript: At the end of March 2011 Laura Peers and Alison Brown organized a conference relating to the 'Blackfoot Shirts Project'. This conference was to be a wrap-up to the project before the book comes out. Laura and Alison invited a group of U.K. curators from various museums and a delegation from the four Blackfoot Tribes to attend the conference. The museum representatives and Blackfoot delegates were brought together to exchange information and ideas. The majority of the conference has been video recorded for use by the Blackfoot Digital Library and for the Pitt Rivers Archives. The conference spanned two days, the thirtieth and thirty-first of March twenty eleven. The conference was held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. The conference was split into two groups. One group went to see the shirts while the second attended a presentation by Alison Brown then switched. Here are all of those video's