Painted robe, Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee) - ROM2009_10563_18


Painted robe, Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee)

Medium:Furred bison hide, paint, sinew
Geography: Tsuu T'ina First Nation, Alberta
Date: 1908
208.3 x 200 cm
Object number: 913.14.269
Credit Line: Edmund Morris Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture
DescriptionBorn around 1833, Chief Bull Head belonged to the Tsuu T’ina tribe, formerly called the Sarcee. After mid-century, when inter-tribal warfare reached high intensity, Bull Head became the leading warrior of his tribe. His war deeds are recorded on this buffalo robe. After his brother died in battle in 1865, Bull Head succeeded him as chief of the tribe and led the Tsuu T’ina until his death in 1911. In 1877 Bull Head signed Treaty No. 7 with the Dominion of Canada on behalf of his people, who numbered 255. Several years later, the Tsuu T’ina settled on a reserve twelve kilometers from the center of present day Calgary. In 1908, the artist, Edmund Morris, brought a buffalo hide formerly used as a carriage robe from Toronto to the Sarcee Reserve. He commissioned the reserve Interpreter and Farm Instructor, George Hodgson, to have Bull Head’s war history painted on it. Bull Head described his deeds in Sarcee to Two Guns who executed the painting. Young Charlie Crow Chief, among the first graduates of the reserve school, probably translated Bull Head’s words into English. This text is today preserved in Morris' archival papers.
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