Shirt - ROM2004_948_22



Maker: Plains Cree
Medium:Wool cloth, beads, weasel fur trim
Geography: Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan, Canada
Date: c. 1876
94 × 69 cm
Object number: 913.14.3
Credit Line: Edmund Morris Collection
On view
Gallery Location:Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture

This shirt was presented to Lieutenant Governor Alexander Morris by Chief Sweet Grass, presumably at the time of negotiating Treaty Six, September 6-13, 1876 and donated to the ROM by his son, Edmund Morris. Sweet Grass was a head Chief of the Plains Cree. The shirt was made for a man about six feet in height, like Alexander Morris. Sweet Grass was of diminutive stature. Possibly shirt (913.14.3), leggings (913.14.4) and moccasins (913.14.372.A-B) form a complete outfit.

Edmund Morris lived from 1871 to 1913, a period of rapid transition in which the Plains Indian tribes shifted from nomadic dependence on the buffalo to settlement on parcels of land called “reserves.” From 1907 to 1911, Edmund journeyed to reserves in the newly formed prairie provinces to create an intimate and thoughtful record of Indian life through pastel sketches, photography, the written word, and a collection of artifacts. As the youngest son of Alexander Morris, the Lieutenant Governor who negotiated most of the Plains Indian treaties, Edmund had a deep commitment to his task. His work provides remarkable insight into the lives of the Plains people and their communities. In 1913 he donated his extraordinary collection of artifacts and his diary to the Royal Ontario Museum, the same year the Province of Ontario transferred to the musuem its collection of 58 Plains portraits by Morris.

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