We asked our Facebook friends to identify the object above. Do you know what it is?
Public Interpretation Coordinator Tom Long fills us in…
This simple ornament is a cloak pin or brooch. It can be used to hold a shawl or blanket closed around the shoulders of a woman in place of a coat.
This brooch is made of iron (and was in fact made by one of our talented blacksmiths) , but silver brooches were also popular in the fur trade and have been recovered in several archaeological digs. Sometimes these brooches incorporated Freemason or Scottish decorative themes. Our blacksmiths have been known to use old Viking designs.
Like everything offered for trade by the Hudson’s Bay Company or other traders, these brooches were not essential for existence, but were pleasant to look at and a status symbol. Aboriginal peoples did not need anything from the traders, but the difference between ‘needing’ and ‘wanting’ is essential even in today’s marketplace.