Catlin as Showman

As mentioned previously, George Catlin went on several summer excursions West in the early 1830s to record the customs and characters of American Indian tribes he encountered. After 1837, Catlin the artist turned into Catlin the showman, touring the East Coast and Europe with his collection of paintings, costumes, weapons, and household artifacts. He called it his “Indian Gallery” or “Gallery Unique.” In doing so, Catlin inaugurated the elements of what was to become known as Wild West Shows.

Unknown artist, The World's Greatest Amusement Institution Tompkin's Real Wild West Frontier Exhibition and European Circus, ca. 1911, Lithograph, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Unknown artist, The World’s Greatest Amusement Institution Tompkin’s Real Wild West Frontier Exhibition and European Circus, ca. 1911, Lithograph, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Unknown artist, Buffalo Ranch Real Wild West: Cowboys, Cowgirls, Indians, and Mexicans, ca. 1890-1910, Chromolithograph, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Unknown artist, Buffalo Ranch Real Wild West: Cowboys, Cowgirls, Indians, and Mexicans, ca. 1890-1910, Chromolithograph, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

The Wild West Show as a form of entertainment did not become a major cultural phenomenon until the late 19th century, when Americans and Europeans became intrigued with the rapidly disappearing Plains frontier. All Wild West Showmen shared a goal – to create popular entertainments that provide spectators an opportunity to witness and appreciate replications of life on the Great Plains. Audiences of these shows typically experienced the portrayal of a simple, romantic world in which heroic people on horseback enjoyed untrammeled freedom, quickly eliminated evil, and ensured the success of the “American” way.

Erwin E. Smith, Part of the Wild West Show of Gordon W. Lillie "Pawnee Bill," famous showman who was touring the Eastern states at the time Erwin E. Smith, the photographer, was attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Photographed against a painted backdrop. Boston, Massachusetts., 1908, Nitrate negative, Courtesy of Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Erwin E. Smith Foundation

Erwin E. Smith, Part of the Wild West Show of Gordon W. Lillie “Pawnee Bill,” famous showman who was touring the Eastern states at the time Erwin E. Smith, the photographer, was attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Photographed against a painted backdrop. Boston, Massachusetts., 1908, Nitrate negative, Courtesy of Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Erwin E. Smith Foundation

Erwin E. Smith, Performers with stage coach in Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show., 1908, Gelatin dry plate negative, Courtesy of Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Erwin E. Smith Foundation

Erwin E. Smith, Performers with stage coach in Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show., 1908, Gelatin dry plate negative, Courtesy of Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on Deposit at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Erwin E. Smith Foundation

Catlin pioneered much of the Wild West Show tradition, including conveying the look and feel of the prairies, its people, animals that roamed there, the joy of the hunt and chase, and colorful aspects of the frontier. The artist had witnessed the end of the Plains Indian culture – one built around family, ceremonial life, horsemanship, buffalo hunting, warfare and other pursuits free from outside influences. He believed that others would only know of the “vanishing” American Indian cultures through the visual record he had preserved, compelling him to reproduce and interpret the Plains Indian culture for the public and make a living in the process. Catlin conveyed his ideas through the reigning media of the day – paintings, museum-like collections, books, and lectures – and traveled his collection around the world.

Broadside for Catlin exhibit in Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, England, ca.1844, Courtesy Toronto Public Library, Gift of the Metcalf Family in Honour of Robert F. Reid

Broadside for Catlin exhibit in Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, England, ca.1844, Courtesy Toronto Public Library, Gift of the Metcalf Family in Honour of Robert F. Reid

George Catlin | Nine Ojibbeway Indians in London | 1861 - 1869 | Oil on card mounted on paperboard

George Catlin | Nine Ojibbeway Indians in London | 1861 – 1869 | Oil on card mounted on paperboard

George Catlin's Indian Gallery, The Grand Salon, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Photo by Il Primo Uomo on Flickr

George Catlin’s Indian Gallery, The Grand Salon, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Photo by Il Primo Uomo on Flickr

Producing his enterprise was no simple – or inexpensive – task. Catlin had to hire many helpers. His collection of art and artifacts required proper packing and shipping. In addition to the hundreds of paintings, there were several thousand artifacts: tobacco pipes and domestic objects; weapons of war, the tomahawks, scalping knives, and clubs; and two live grizzly bears, which proved too troublesome for the European portion of his traveling exhibit. With a limited supply of affordable and fashionable exhibition space, Catlin often settled on salons at law buildings, old chapels, old theaters, and public buildings. His paintings and artifacts crowded the walls, displayed in what is referred to as “salon style,” in which images are stacked on top of each other from floor to ceiling. The exhibition’s festivities began promptly at 7:30pm. Electricity not yet available, lighting in the evening hours was provided by candles or whale oil lamps. Can you imagine?!

**Information for this post was collected by SRM research volunteer Shelle McMillen. Thank you, Shelle!**

The Cowboy Artist

It’s that time of year again – the Fort Worth Stock Show. Festivities begin tomorrow, and to gear up for the event we’re taking a look back at the roundup years of cowboy artist Charles M. Russell.

MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-687, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Untitled, photographer unidentified, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-687, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

As a young boy, Charles Russell was fascinated by tales of the West – Indians, explorers, cowboys, and more. Young Charlie was an avid reader of dime novels and tales of the pioneering frontier. By the age of 16, his parents relented to their son’s request to work on a ranch in Montana Territory. Much to their chagrin, Russell became enamored with the Big Sky Country and resolved to make it his home.

In 1882, Russell began working as a night wrangler, or a nighthawk, for the Judith Basin roundup. His task was to tend to the herd of horses while the other cowboys slept. Despite not being a good roper or rider, he held his job and supported himself by working as wrangler for the next 11 years.

Untitled, unidentified photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 946-387, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Untitled (Russell third from the left), unidentified photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 946-387, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Charlie on his horse Monte, 1886, Towner and Runsten, photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-688, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Charlie on his horse Monte, 1886, Towner and Runsten, photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-688, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

With his sense of humor, the young cowboy made friends effortlessly and kept his crew entertained with tales by the campfire. As he told a story, Charlie would work bits of wax in his hands to create figures and other small sculpture. Likewise, the self-taught cowboy artist would spend his free time drawing and sketching. By 1893, Russell left his work on the range and pursued a full-time career as an artist, producing scenes of the West he witnessed during his cowboy days.

Charles M. Russell, A Bad One, 1912, Pencil, watercolor and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 28 5/8 inches

Charles M. Russell, A Bad One, 1912, Pencil, watercolor and gouache on paper, 19 3/4 x 28 5/8 inches

Charles M. Russell, The Bucker, 1904, Watercolor, pencil & gouache on paper, 16 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches

Charles M. Russell, The Bucker, 1904, Watercolor, pencil & gouache on paper, 16 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches

Kidd Russell poses with Wallace Stairley in 1887, R. H. Beckwith, photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-729, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Kidd Russell poses with Wallace Stairley in 1887, R. H. Beckwith, photographer, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena, 944-729, Courtesy of Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society

Bill and Charles

Yesterday marked Charles Schreyvogel’s birthday. The young artist grew up in New York and New Jersey, but traveled to Europe where he studied at the Munich Art Academy. Schreyvogel returned weak and sickly. Although the doctor urged Schreyvogel to seek the dry, hot air of the American West, in the 1890s, the closest the artist could get to the West was William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show in New York. The traveling performance became one of Schreyvogel’s primary sources of information about Native Americans. He spent many visits sketching the actors from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows. It was the beginning of a friendship that would last many years.

Charles Schreyvogel, Attack on the Herd (Close Call), c. 1907, Oil on canvas, 26 1/8 x 34 1/4 inches

Charles Schreyvogel, Attack on the Herd (Close Call), c. 1907, Oil on canvas, 26 1/8 x 34 1/4 inches

Schreyvogel and his wife were frequent guests of Cody’s when the show was on the road, taking rides in the show arena in the famous Deadwood stage coach. In 1907, in an effort to refurbish Buffalo Bill’s image, Cody commissioned Schreyvogel to paint Rescue at Summit Springs, the Indian battle in which Cody had successfully taken part back in 1869. Charles Schreyvogel was one the most important artists whom Buffalo Bill patronized. As a token of their friendship, Cody gifted Schreyvogel a newly-made Sioux tepee, which would stand in the corner of Schreyvogel’s studio for many years and occasionally used as a model in paintings.

Stacy, Col. W. F. Cody "Buffalo Bill", ca.1900, Collodion silver chloride print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Stacy, Col. W. F. Cody “Buffalo Bill”, ca.1900, Collodion silver chloride print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Unknown artist, [Buffalo Bill on horseback], ca.1900, Gelatin silver print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Unknown artist, [Buffalo Bill on horseback], ca.1900, Gelatin silver print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

William Notman, [Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill Cody], ca.1891, Albumen silver print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

William Notman, [Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill Cody], ca.1891, Albumen silver print, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Schreyvogel once tried to persuade Cody to accompany him on a tour of the West, but the old showman declined “because sick or well I have to be with the show.”

George Stacy, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, ca.1890s, Halftone, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

George Stacy, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, ca.1890s, Halftone, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Museum Reflections

As 2014 comes to a close, we take this time to reflect on the past year. Hosting two special exhibitions and several public programs, the museum reached a large a diverse group of people. We welcomed over 40,000 visitors this year!

In addition, through our school tour programs, the education department shared our collection and exhibitions with nearly 3,500 students. Besides a docent-guided tour through the galleries, the students get to experience hands-on activities in the studio, which allow them a way to relate their personal response to the collection with their own artistic experience. Art activities can range from printmaking and painting to weaving and metal tooling.

Based on their responses, it’s safe to say the kids enjoyed their museum visit. But don’t take my word for it.img-141218153852-0001img-141218161459-0001img-141218161439-0001img-141218161518-0001img-141218153835-0001

Happy Holidays

The holiday season can be filled with joy and merriment. But it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. To help assuage your concerns, we consulted some of the artwork in our galleries for advice on how to best enjoy the season’s celebrations.

Frederic Remington | The Puncher | 1895 | Oil on canvas | 24 x 20 1/8 inches

Frederic Remington | The Puncher | 1895 | Oil on canvas | 24 x 20 1/8 inches

SRM: Travel during the holidays can be a mess. Do you have any tips for transportation?

Puncher: Find a dependable vehicle. The last thing you want to worry about is your carriage falling apart, leaving you stranded far away from home. Me? I count on my trusty steed. A cowboy is only as good as his horse.

Charles M. Russell | Trouble on the Horizon [Prospectors discover an Indian Camp] | 1893 | Oil on canvas | 26 1/8 x 34 inches

Charles M. Russell | Trouble on the Horizon [Prospectors discover an Indian Camp] | 1893 | Oil on canvas | 26 1/8 x 34 inches

SRM: Do you have any advice for packing lightly for holiday travel?

Prospectors: As you can see, we enjoy a minimalist lifestyle. We can carry only what will fit on our packhorse. However, minimalism does not equate austerity. While we are prepared to pan for our fortunes, we do not neglect such creature comforts as a good pot of coffee.

“Catlin Feasted by the Mandan Chief,” George Catlin (1796-1872), (Cartoon No. 133:  The author feasted in the wigwam of Mah-to-toh-pa, the war chief of the Mandans, dining on a roast rib of buffalo and pemican.) Oil on card mounted on paperboard, 18 ¼ x 24 9/16 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, Paul Mellon Collection

“Catlin Feasted by the Mandan Chief,” George Catlin (1796-1872), (Cartoon No. 133:
The author feasted in the wigwam of Mah-to-toh-pa, the war chief of the Mandans, dining on a roast rib of buffalo and pemican.) Oil on card mounted on paperboard, 18 ¼ x 24 9/16 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington, Paul Mellon Collection

SRM: What does it take to host a good holiday dinner party?

Mandan Chief: One word: hospitality. I like to let my guests know that I put their needs first. That’s why I never eat with my guests, but rather sit by them, wait upon them, and prepare for after-dinner festivities.

Thank you, Docents!

Yesterday we celebrated our wonderful group of docents with a holiday luncheon. We are so honored to work with such a talented and caring ensemble of volunteers. These men and women are vital to our art museum. Through their passion and knowledge of art of the American West, the docents help to positively shape visitor’s attitudes about art and museums.docents 7

We’re not the only ones who appreciate our volunteers. At the end of every field trip, we send out a survey to assess student visits and learn how we can better serve future school groups. Here is just some of the feedback we received from anonymous teachers:

“[The docents] were excellent! The ladies were well informed and had all kinds of anecdotal observations that the kids loved. They were very patient and let the students engage with them which was wonderful.”

“Cannot wait to come back. Thank you!!”

“The docents and entire staff were absolutely wonderful! They were very knowledgeable and presented the information appropriately for 4th graders.”docents 6docents 2

“Our experience was completely positive! Every part of the trip was well-organized, and that greatly reduces stress for students (and for teachers). Each of the adults used a calm, confident tone of voice. That’s also a big plus!”

“The atmosphere was very warm and inviting. The docents who led the tour were wonderful as well as knowledgeable.”

“The most kid-friendly museum in all of the Metroplex!”docents 4

“Everyone was so lovely and helpful. I appreciated that there were plenty of adults to handle the kids and to help them.”

“[The docents] were great. Very welcoming and accommodating. Used kid friendly language and seemed enthusiastic.”

“The staff was gracious and very helpful. I could tell that they have worked with students before because of their patience. We had a wonderful experience.”docents 3docents 1

Thank you, docents, for all that you do for the Sid Richardson Art Museum!!!

The Push for a National Art

Our current exhibition, Take Two: George Catlin Revisits the West, features a selection of paintings from Catlin’s Second Indian Gallery. These works revisit paintings from Catlin’s First Indian Gallery, a collection of works that the artist tried to sell to the U.S. government – on several occasions.

Historically, artists in Europe and elsewhere were financially supported through commissions and patronage, often from the church or governing monarchy. Unfortunately for Catlin, the congressmen of the U.S. government generally considered artistic patronage to be a minor concern, focusing more efforts on the controversial expansion of slavery into the newly acquired western territories. But Catlin was determined to secure the patronage of the federal government.

Why did Catlin feel so strongly that the government should own and exhibit his 607 portraits and scenes of western American Indians? Guest curator and Catlin scholar Brian Dippie asserts that during this period in American history, there was a desire and campaign for a national culture and art. Naturally, no theme seemed more appropriate than that of the country’s native tribes. In fact, beginning in the early 1800s, the government was commissioning Indian portraits. Visiting Indian dignitaries would sit for their likenesses during their visit with the Great White Father in Washington.

George Catlin | O-Jib-Be-Ways | Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From Drawings and Notes of the Author, Made During Eight Years’ Travel Amongst Forty-Eight of the Wildest and Most Remote Tribes of Savages in North America. | ca. 1875

George Catlin | O-Jib-Be-Ways | Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From Drawings and Notes of the Author, Made During Eight Years’ Travel Amongst Forty-Eight of the Wildest and Most Remote Tribes of Savages in North America. | ca. 1875

In 1838, Catlin made his first attempt at persuading the American government to purchase his Indian Gallery. He set sail for England the following year without a sale. Dippie notes how newspapers mourned the loss of this national legacy while admonishing the politicians for letting this most American of collections slip through their hands. But Catlin never gave up and persistently pursued the acceptance of his paintings to a great national museum. Although this was never achieved during his lifetime, today Catlin’s First Indian Gallery now resides in the Smithsonian American Art Museum while much of his Second Indian Gallery hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

George Catlin | Wi-Jun-Jon Assineboin Chief Going to Washington and Returning | Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From Drawings and Notes of the Author, Made During Eight Years’ Travel Amongst Forty-Eight of the Wildest and Most Remote Tribes of Savages in North America. | ca. 1875

George Catlin | Wi-Jun-Jon Assineboin Chief Going to Washington and Returning | Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From Drawings and Notes of the Author, Made During Eight Years’ Travel Amongst Forty-Eight of the Wildest and Most Remote Tribes of Savages in North America. | ca. 1875

Catlin in Context

Like George Catlin and his summer excursions to the American West in the 1830s, many American painters were inspired by an adventurous lifestyle in the early 19th century. These artists experienced unspoiled terrain and wanted to convey the splendor and excitement of the nation’s wilderness. A well-known artistic movement from this period was that of the Hudson River School. American artists like Thomas Cole and Asher Durand used their canvases to capture the beauty of rural life and the sublimity of the untamed frontier. Influenced by Romanticism, their paintings present a dramatic and dreamy view of the country.

Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return, 1845, Oil on Canvas, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return, 1845, Oil on Canvas, Courtesy Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Romanticism is a term often used to describe artwork from Catlin’s period. First applied to literature around 1800, the romantic artistic movement flourished in France and Britain throughout the first half of the 19th century. Disenchanted with the Enlightenment and its values of reason and order, Romanticism stressed imagination and emotion. Artistically, the movement is not defined by one style or subject matter. As the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire wrote in 1846, “Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling.”

Distraught over the destruction of American Indian cultures, Catlin paintings appealed to mid-19th century romantics like Baudelaire, who, as mentioned previously, visited Catlin’s Indian Gallery in Paris and greatly admired the artist’s work. Through paint, Catlin conveyed a melancholic spirit as he hurried to capture and record a way of life that would be known by future generations through the visual record he was preserving.

George Catlin | Encampment of Pawnee Indians at Sunset | 1861 - 1869 | Oil on card mounted on paperboard

George Catlin | Encampment of Pawnee Indians at Sunset | 1861 – 1869 | Oil on card mounted on paperboard

The Sash

During last week’s blog post, I shared an exciting discovery revealed during a recent Tea & Talk program, which enlightened me about the Métis people. After some further research, I learned about another connection our collection has to this tribe.

Frederic Remington, Buffalo Runners - Big Horn Basin, 1909, Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 51 1/8 inches

Frederic Remington, Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin, 1909, Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 51 1/8 inches

When you view Remington’s Buffalo Runners, you’ll notice that the figures, the Métis, are wearing a sash around their waists, the trimmings of which blow in the wind from the hurried gallop of the horses. This sash is a typical Métis article of clothing. In fact, the Métis still own and use these sashes today for ceremonial purposes. Historically, the sash had many functional uses. The fringed ends could serve as emergency sewing kits when the men were out on a buffalo hunt, like in Remington’s painting. The sash could also perform as a key holder, first aid kit, washcloth, towel, and as an emergency bridle and saddle blanket.

Originally known as L’Assomption Sash, named after a town in Quebec where it was produced, the garment eventually became known as “the Métis sash.”

But the Métis were not the only ones to don the sash. From his earliest days in Montana, Charles Russell began wearing L’Assomption Sash. Apparently, he felt the belt-like item made him look slimmer. Charles once wrote:

“I have all ways worn one and like them better than a belt. I believe they keep me from having a big belly—all breeds usto ware them Mex french lots of people in Quebeck ware them I saw men in france waring them—all that I saw [were] all silk Italions ware.”

Charles M. Russell, Utica (A Quiet day in Utica), 1907, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches

Charles M. Russell, Utica (A Quiet day in Utica), 1907, Oil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches

Russell proudly displayed the sash in many photographic portraits as well as paintings. In Russell’s 1907 canvas Utica, the artist paints himself into the composition. He can be easily identified in the background by the red Métis sash around his waist.Sid Richardson Museum

Tea & Talk Reflections

As mentioned previously, Tea & Talk is a regularly scheduled program every second Wednesday of the month at 2pm (September-May). We take a look at two selected works of art, spending about 15-20min with each while sharing our thoughts and observations. The group is intimate in size, which allows for more open dialogue. During our most recent Tea & Talk, participants spent time with Catlin’s Buffalo Chase – Bull Protecting the Calves and Remington’s Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin.IMG_4995IMG_4996

Frederic Remington, Buffalo Runners - Big Horn Basin, 1909, Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 51 1/8 inches

Frederic Remington, Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin, 1909, Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 51 1/8 inches

As an art historian and museum educator, I always find Tea & Talk to be a great resource in learning more about the artworks and learning to see our collection in new ways, both of which are sparked by comments and insights shared through our conversations. Last week’s program is a great example. While sitting in front of Remington’s Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin, it’s easy to get caught up in the artist’s sun-struck hues, the thick, loose application of paint, and the implied sense of movement in this dynamic scene. In fact, much of our conversation focused on these various aspects. Then someone pointed out the dark shadows on the faces of some of the men.

Are these moustaches?

Yes, the group agreed.

But wait, American Indian men are not known for having facial hair?

That’s when one of the participants referenced the Métis people.

Métis is the French term for “mixed-blood.” It’s similar to the Spanish term mestizo. The Métis tribe was a result of the encroachment of European settlement and exploration, as relationships developed between fur traders and Native American women, mostly Cree and Ojibwe. The first Métis communities appeared in the Great Lakes region, Ontario, North Dakota, and Montana near the Judith Basin. Many Métis people would come together for annual buffalo hunts, both for subsistence and for buffalo robes to sell.  Today, the Métis are found in many of these same areas and extending into many of the Canadian provinces, where the government has begun to recognize the Métis as a distinct people.

In the U.S., the word Métis is little known outside the historically Métis communities in the north. But now, thanks to Tea & Talk, the participants and I are equipped with this little nugget of knowledge.