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Full Robe

Assiniboine/Cree and/or Northern Ojibway
Northern Plains

late 18th century

hide, paint

height: 66"
width: 66"

Inventory # P4225b


This early robe is unique as to form, relating most closely to a fragmentary cape preserved in Museo de America, Madrid and an Innu cape at the Musee de Quai Branly, Paris. Unlike the bison robes which were ubiquitous on the Plains and worn with the head and tail ends oriented horizontally, this robe appears to have been worn with the head end up. Close parallels may also be drawn to the Forbes fold-over cape having a common collection history with this cape


The Forbes family, Edinburgh, Scotland

According to oral tradition within the Forbes family, this robe was brought back to Scotland from Canada by George Forbes (1849-1936) who was a consulting engineer for the Niagara Falls & River Railway Power House, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. However, it is more likely that the Native American garments in the Forbes family’s possession arrived earlier to Scotland via business connections of Forbes’s grandfather Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet of Pitsligo (1773–1828), or of his great-grandfather, Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet of Pitsligo and Monymusk (1739–1806), a lawyer and co-owner of one of the most successful private banks in Edinburgh.