ASPECTS OF METIS CULTURE
LanguageA unique language that did appear among the Metis of the Plains and Parklands was Metchif. It was a fully developed language that included French nouns and noun phrases with the Plains Cree verbal system.
Metchif was once believed to have been restricted to the southeastern parklands area in the Turtle Mountain region of Manitoba and North Dakota. However, it has been found in northwestern Alberta, where it is called Metis Creel Metchif is also found in the eastern part of Manitoba, where it has incorporated the Ojibway language as well.
The style of clothing worn by early Metis came from both the European and Aboriginals. The colourful l'Assomption Sash belted at the waist was not only decorative but practical. A man could carry his pipe, tobacco, and matches in the sash. The original Metis Sash is distinct by identifying colours -- red and white representing the mixture of two nations; blue depicting the sky and bountiful water; green representing fertility and growth; yellow depicting the sun; brown for the animals of the land; and finally, black representing completion of the cycle.
The Manitoba Metis Federation recently developed a unique Metis Sash based on the original L'Assomption Sash with the colours of red, blue, white, green and black. The new sash colours represent the following: red is the historically depicted colour for the Metis sash; blue and white symbolize the colours of the Metis national flag, a flag with a blue background and white infinity symbol; green symbolizes growth and prosperity for the new Metis Nation; and black symbolizes the dark period in which the Metis people endured repression and dispossession by the Canadian government.
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning;
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