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Item Name: Textile
Title: Qu'Appelle Valley
Maker: Unknown Artist
Year: 1974
Country: Canadian
Materials: wool on cotton
Measurements: overall: 89 cm x 136 cm
ID Number: PC92.6

Extended Label Info: This artwork combines elements from two craft traditions. This form of rug was developed in the Maritimes and eastern United States in the 1850s and spread throughout North America as a thrifty and colourful home-craft. The geometric patterns in the design are similar to symbols used by traditional Sioux women to decorate functional objects. Although historical Sioux work is often quite pastel as it was created with organic dyes, this rug features the bright colours of wool available in the 1970s. The Ta-Hah-Sheena Sioux Handcraft Cooperative (1967 – 1972) was a craft collective at the Standing Buffalo First Nation, located in the Qu’Appelle Valley, in Treaty Four territory, one of eight Sioux territories within Canada. The collective began with a workshop organized and taught by Martha Tawyaka of Standing Buffalo with her friend Lorna Ferguson of Fort Qu’Appelle, with funding from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. While Ferguson taught the method of contemporary rug hooking, Martha Tawyaka, along with Jesse Goodwill, Lucy Yuzicappi and Marina Goodfeather, taught the younger members about Sioux design and symbolism. The founding board of the 45 member collective included Josephine Goodpipe, Yvonne Yuzicappi, Reta Goodwill, Margaret Ryder and Flora Bear. The name of the collective, Ta-Hah-Sheena is based on the Sioux word for the decorated hides that were used historically as capes in ceremonies, and lined the walls of Sioux homes and tipis. The collective kept careful records of their work. Each hooked rug features a unique design, and is labelled on the reverse with the name of the collective and the artist. Rug designs often include a maker’s mark in the form of a slight change to the symmetry of the design. Work by this collective has been exhibited internationally, and is held in the Saskatchewan Arts Board collection.