Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Red River Cart

The Red River cart was invented around 1800 by Métis employees of Alexander Henry at the Pembina fur trading post. The carts were made entirely of wood and rawhide using only the most basic hand tools.

The Métis people who invented the cart and who were most frequently the drivers, live primarily in Canada; they emerged from the initial offspring of the relations between Indian women and European men.
Métis is pronounced mey-tees, or mey-tee.

Red River Ox Cart, 1889
photographed in front of the home of a Métis family.
William McFarlane Notman, photographer
© McCord Museum of Canadian History
link here

Red River Ox Cart Diagram
One of several detailed illustrations by Harry B. Brehaut,
author of The Red River Cart and Trails: The Fur Trade
© Manitoba Historical Society.
link here

click on link below
Cartmaking Video

A group of Métis people working at the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre (Winnipeg) and
led by Orille Haugan are reviving the art of Red River cart making. Learn about the relationship
between Métis people and this historic means of transportation.
link here
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