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Red River Cart – Handmade

$60.00

This Red River cart is handmade in Saskatoon, SK.

Note: This item is only available for in-person pick-up from our Saskatoon retail outlet. It is too fragile to ship.  If you decide you would still like to have this item shipped, GDI will not be responsible if the item gets broken in transport.  No returns or exchanges will be accepted.

Dimensions are approximate as each are handmade and unique.

Length: 32 cm
Width: 16 cm
Height: 14 cm

Limited to one Red River cart per order.  For larger orders, please contact us directly at 306.934.4941.

One of the intrinsic symbols of Métis identity is the Red River Cart. The Red River cart has become, like the fur trade sash, a passionate and powerful symbol of Métis nationhood in Western Canada. These noisy but versatile carts crisscrossed what are now the Prairie Provinces, North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. Among First Nations and Euro-North Americans the carts became identified with the Métis. In fact, “Plains First Nations” sign language for the Métis literally meant “half-wagon, half-man!” While the inspiration for the Red River Cart came from European carting traditions, the materials used were indigenous to the Plains and its construction was distinctly Métis. A typical Red River cart had a box measuring two metres in length, a metre in height and 84 centimetres in width. Its axles were two metres long, its wheels over half a metre in diameter and its shafts, measuring four metres each, ran from the box to the horse or ox. Its hubs were usually made from elm, wheel rims from ash or oak, and the axle from maple. All the carts’ wooden pieces were fashioned together by sinew and rope. When the carts broke down, all that was needed for their repair was a bluff of trees, an axe, a saw, a screw auger, and a draw knife. Even the nails on a Métis-made Red River Cart were wooden, unlike the metal nails used by the fur trade companies. Red River Carts made a terrible squealing noise when they moved because their wooden axles and wheels could not be effectively lubricated.

For more information on Métis Transportation, check out: http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/00728

$60.00

Category:

Description

This Red River cart is handmade in Saskatoon, SK.

Note: This item is only available for in-person pick-up from our Saskatoon retail outlet. It is too fragile to ship.  If you decide you would still like to have this item shipped, GDI will not be responsible if the item gets broken in transport.  No returns or exchanges will be accepted.

Dimensions are approximate as each are handmade and unique.

Length: 32 cm
Width: 16 cm
Height: 14 cm

Limited to one Red River cart per order.  For larger orders, please contact us directly at 306.934.4941.

One of the intrinsic symbols of Métis identity is the Red River Cart. The Red River cart has become, like the fur trade sash, a passionate and powerful symbol of Métis nationhood in Western Canada. These noisy but versatile carts crisscrossed what are now the Prairie Provinces, North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota. Among First Nations and Euro-North Americans the carts became identified with the Métis. In fact, “Plains First Nations” sign language for the Métis literally meant “half-wagon, half-man!” While the inspiration for the Red River Cart came from European carting traditions, the materials used were indigenous to the Plains and its construction was distinctly Métis. A typical Red River cart had a box measuring two metres in length, a metre in height and 84 centimetres in width. Its axles were two metres long, its wheels over half a metre in diameter and its shafts, measuring four metres each, ran from the box to the horse or ox. Its hubs were usually made from elm, wheel rims from ash or oak, and the axle from maple. All the carts’ wooden pieces were fashioned together by sinew and rope. When the carts broke down, all that was needed for their repair was a bluff of trees, an axe, a saw, a screw auger, and a draw knife. Even the nails on a Métis-made Red River Cart were wooden, unlike the metal nails used by the fur trade companies. Red River Carts made a terrible squealing noise when they moved because their wooden axles and wheels could not be effectively lubricated.

For more information on Métis Transportation, check out: http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/00728

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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