Friday, January 16, 2009

Distinctly Canadian - Moose Hair Tufting

I was moving pictures around to accomodate some new ones received at Christmas, and I thought I would take a photo of this one to share. First off, I can not claim this piece - I did not make it. Wish I had, and moose hair tufting is on my list of things I would like to try sometime. This was made by a First Nations lady in northern Alberta and I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift.

For centuries the Cree people of Northern Alberta and the Inuit of the Canadian Territories used Moose Hair Tufting as the main method of embellishing their clothing. Moose and cariboo hair tufting is one of the most beautiful crafts indigenous to the Aboriginal people of these areas. This art requires a lot of patience and skill. It was once a disappearing art form but happily is now experiencing a revival among Aboriginal people.

To create these pictures, a small bundle of hair is cut off and a stitch is made around the hair and pulled tight so that the hair stand up in a tuft. The hair is then sculpted with scissors to create these beautiful pictures. Florals are a favourite design and if you would like to see some better pictures you can visit the site of The Arctic Trading Company and see pieces they have for sale. If you click on the pictures you can see good close ups that give you an idea of the work involved in creating these. I apologize for the quality of the picture I am showing - the glare of the glass got the better of my camera skills.

If you are still interested in learning more you can visit the Virtual Museum of Metis History and Culture and view a short video interview of Richard Lafferty Jr. titled On the Origins of Moose Hair Tufting. The video shows several really beautiful examples of the art form.

1 comment:

Thelma said...

How lucky you are to have such a beautiful piece of art. Love it!!! Too Awesome , I have never heard of this before.