Skip to Content
ojibwa-womans-cape.jpg
Views

Woman's Cape

Ojibwa
Minnesota

ca. 1840-50

wool broad cloth, glass beads, silk ribbon
width: 61"

Sold


Provenance

Believed to have been made by Jane Dickson LaFramboise (b. ca. 1820) in 1845, then by descent through the family

Essay

This beautiful blanket or cape is believed to have been made by Jane Dickson LaFramboise, a woman of Ojibwa/Dakota ancestry, born in 1820 in Pembina Territory in western Minnesota. Her maternal grandfather was Robert Dickson, a Scottish-Canadian who became an adopted leader within the Sioux Nation where he was called Mescotopah “the red-haired man”. He fought with the British during the war of 1812 before joining the American Fur Company. In 1845 Jane married Joseph LaFramboise at Traverse des Sioux in what was believed to be the first Christian marriage performed in Nicollet County, Minnesota. The oral tradition states that though theirs was a Christian marriage, this beaded blanket was worn in a native ceremony celebrating the union of Jane and Joseph.

Joseph LaFramboise was the son of a successful half Ottawa, half French  trader on Mackinac Island. In 1832, LaFramboise set up his first trading post in Murray County, Minnesota, and also served as an interpreter in negotiations between the Sioux and the US government. LaFramboise also worked for the American Fur Company under Henry H. Sibley, guiding personalities such as John C. Freemont, Joseph Nicollet and George Catlin out onto the Coteau.

This exceptional textile is composed entirely of materials obtained through the fur trade, a business the LaFramboise family had been involved with for decades. The large wool broadcloth is bordered on three sides with extremely fine silk appliqué decoration, while exuberant beaded foliate designs radiate from the lower corners. Anchoring the composition is a concentric foliate medallion surrounded by a pointed corona suggesting the rays of the sun. The artist’s superb level of craftsmanship and sense of colour combine to create a work of art that is extremely pleasing to behold.

Previous
Shoulder Bag W3635

Cree

Northern Ontario/Manitoba

ca. 1840
W3635
Sold
Next
Panel Bag A3541

James Bay Cree
Northern Ontario

ca. 1860
A3541
Sold