CULTIVATE LIFE - St. Albert Mural Mosaic

Diane Way



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Artist Comments:
Many Métis legends are recorded in fiddle tunes handed down for centuries. Rhythm is supplied by toe tapping or spoons and the irregular beats of the fiddle create a bounce in Métis jigging that is as unique as the fiddling itself. The extra beats make the Métis jig a fast moving dance and though similar to the Scots / Irish step dance, the Métis jig is definitely unique in style.  The unofficial Métis anthem is a fiddle tune, called the “Red River Jig”. It is believed by many that the first Red River jig originated during 18th century gatherings of fiddlers at the Red River colony near the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The Métis (or L’Assomption) Sash is a finger woven belt made of wool worn by the Métis for both traditional and ceremonial purposes.  Historically it served a functional use; it was tied around the waist of the capote and could be used as a rope, a pocket for tools or even a wash cloth.  Today the “Métis Sash” continues to be an integral part of Métis cultural celebrations, worn with pride at Métis dance celebrations.