The strength of a country’s culture is determined by its foundational values and the willingness of the people to carry its traditions proudly. The Metis are one such group of Canadian descent who have gone on to carry their traditions through their unique and rugged clothing which are still available in the form of custom t shirts Canada at stores.
The Metis are actually descendants of the first generation of French immigrants who were involved in the fur trading business. Having roots in two distinct cultures, the Metis went on to produce something with elements of both the cultures they have descended from.
Metis Clothing for Men
Metis men used to wear traditional fur-covered clothes that were made either by tanned deerskin or moose hide. Large brimmed hats were worn on top in place of woollen ones, and beaded moccasins were worn in place of boots as footwear.
Another important piece of clothing for the Metis was the very traditional Sash, a piece of coloured clothing that could be used for a variety of purposes. The colour used to make the Sash were very symbolic and each strip represented a quality or purpose of the person wearing it.
The Metis had three different kinds of coats for men which are:
- Capote – a knee-length woollen jacket tied around the waist with a Sash
- Red River Coat – European-influenced jacket made of animal hide
- Buckskin Jacket – made of moose hide or deerskin, the traditional coat was elaborately decorated with porcupine quills, bird feathers, and glass beads
Metis Clothing for Women
The common Metis women dressed relatively simpler and were inspired more by the European style of dressing rather than the native ones. However, they were the person who used to stitch the clothes for both men and women of the house.
They wore long and dark-coloured straight dresses which featured a high neckline. Paired with decorated wool and velvet-made leggings, women often used to wear a blouse and skirt instead of the dresses. Beaded moccasins were worn both by men and women alike.
The women worn scarves, gloves, and coats made of fur to keep themselves warm in colder times. An important item that women used to carry around was the Octopus pouch used to carry items of utility around with them.
The Symbolic Meaning of their Clothes
The colours dyed on Metis clothing were more than mere pieced of artwork. Each fabric represented meaning and was worn accordingly. Some of them were as follows:
- Red – represented the lives lost during their struggle to attain freedom
- Blue – represented the depth present in their soul and spirit
- Green – represented the fertile lands present in their region
- White – displayed their connection to the earth and creator of all living things
- Yellow – highlighted the prosperity they had hoped for in the future
- Black – a reminder of the dark times of oppression
The Metis were a culturally significant group of Canadian history who took pride in their clothing and culture. This is the reason why they are still sought-after in the form of modern custom t-shirts.