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Mnaajtood ge Mnaadendaan: Miigwewinan Michi Saagiig Kwewag Miinegoowin Gimaans Zhaganaash Aki 1860

To Honour and Respect: Gifts from the Michi Saagiig Women to the Prince of Wales, 1860

Co-Curated by Lori Beavis & Laura Peers

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In 1860, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg women at Rice Lake Village in Ontario made beautiful birchbark baskets decorated with porcupine quillwork, as gifts for Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, when he visited their community. In 2023, the baskets came home for a visit, on loan from His Majesty the King, and were exhibited at the Peterborough Museum & Archives. Click here to go to the To Honour and Respect website, which tells the story of the baskets and their travels. My blog post about the project and my role in it is here.

Quilled makakoon exhibited at Peterborough Museum & Archives, 2023. Photo by Laura Peers.

Header image: detail, quilled makak by Polly Soper, 1860. RCT RCIN84306. Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III, 2023.

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The Ancestors

Of the 13 porcupine quilled makakoon (birchbark baskets) presented in 1860, 11 of the makers' names are still linked to the baskets. The makakoon take both traditional and innovative forms, including this carpet bag form remade as quill on bark by Margaret Anderson.

Quilled bark handbag by Margaret Anderson, 1860. RCT RCIN 84333. Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III, 2023.

Quill workshops

Led by Sandra D. Moore of Creators Gifts, a team delivered workshops on basic porcupine quillwork skills at six Mississauga Nation powwows, the Peterborough Museum & Archives, and an Indigenous community festival. Over 200 people learned to quill and refined skills.

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'We have not forgotten': the legacy piece

Quillwork artist Sandra D. Moore accepted the suggestion of another project Planning Circle member that she should create a work to stay at Hiawatha when the Ancestors returned to England at the end of the loan. Sandra designed the Legacy Piece--and then asked over 700 people to place quills in it.

'We have not forgotten'  © Sandra D. Moore, 2023.

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