Beyond the Beads: The Representation of Metis Women in the Archaeological Record

  • Author / Creator
    Wambold, Rosemary D.
  • In this thesis I examine stories pertaining to women as told by the belongings recovered during excavations conducted at three hivernant Métis sites. The hivernants were groups of Métis families who banded together to form winter bison hunting brigades. Overwintering on the Canadian prairies, they constructed cabins at sites that positioned them to take advantage of natural resources such as water and plant life, but also allowed them to readily engage in the bison hunt. The three sites that I focus on were occupied during the 1870s and are located at Buffalo Lake, Alberta (FdPe-1), Chimney Coulee, Saskatchewan (DjOe-3), and Petite Ville, Saskatchewan (FdNm-15). Although seed beads form the greatest proportion of belongings recovered from these sites, I seek to look beyond the beads to discern patterns within other categories of belongings that can be used to illustrate what daily life was like for the women and their families living at the study sites. Using approaches from Indigenous, feminist, and historical archaeology as my theoretical foundation, I also engage the artifact assemblages with the Cree and Métis concepts of keeoukaywin and wâhkôhtowin in mind. These concepts translate into “the visiting way” and the “state of being related”. Incorporating these concepts into my research not only allows me to discern the details of daily life but also permits me to consider the implications of what the assemblage can tell me about the relationships that Métis women would have had with the other members of their community.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.