Trading Culture: An analysis of Woodlands Clothing from the late 1700s

Author(s): Mary Kathleen Pitirri

Year: 2015


The McMichael Canadian Art Collection recently acquired a collection of Great Lakes First Nations clothing (c. 1770-1780), which represents one of only four surviving Chief ceremonial regalia gifted to European diplomats and worn during negotiations (Brasser 2012, 13-33; Roloff 2012, 8). Included in this rare anthology of Woodlands culture are: a pair of men’s deer skin leggings, a pair of moccasins, two finger weaved sashes, a pair of garter pendants, a short strap, armbands, a Wampum belt, and a pair of ‘German’ silver ear decorations. This collection is of interest not only for its rarity, but it also has considerable historic, social, and cultural significance. These clothes provide a rare glimpse into the first 300 years of European and native contact, a unique period of social change and accommodation known as ‘the middle ground’ (White 2011, xxvi). Here, an analysis of Woodlands native clothing is presented to assess the role of gift giving and cultural exchange in the Great Lakes region during the late 1700s.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Trading Culture: An analysis of Woodlands Clothing from the late 1700s. Mary Kathleen Pitirri. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398418)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;