Pauline Johnson is often remembered for her poems and performances that celebrate her Aboriginal heritage. Her father was a Mowhawk and her mother an English woman. Pauline Johnson was born in Chiefswood, the family home built by her father on the Six Nations Indian Reserve outside of Brantford, Ontario, and died in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Pauline Johnson's performance costume is comprised of a number of separate pieces, as follows:
• Bodice — made of red cotton fabric and deerskin with quill and bead work decoration, ermine tails, trade silver brooches
• Skirt — made of red cotton and deerskin with trade silver brooches
• Blanket — made of red wool
• “Scalp” — a waist ornament consisting of a length of human hair and deerskin
• “Scalp” — a waist ornament consisting of a length of human hair, ermine skin, trade beads
• Necklace — of mammal tooth and beads (Note: While this is the one in the image, it is not really part of the performance costume; another necklace, one made of bear claws is the one Pauline Johnson is wearing when you see photographs of her in her costume.)
To learn more about Pauline Johnson visit the website: http://collectioncanada.ca/canvers/t16-201-e.html
This is perhaps the oldest known garment with a Vancouver label. The owner of this dress was a president of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Made from mauve silk, with hand embroidered lace trimming, this beautifully detailed dinner dress reflects Edwardian style with an "Arts and Crafts" influence. The dress was designed and made by Norman Drysdale Limited.
This navy blue and white wool sailor tunic, made for the son of dressmaker Yae Oikawa, was constructed with patterns cut from British Columbia’s earliest Japanese newspaper, The Vancouver World newspaper, dated 1912. The collar and newspaper patterns were kept by the family for decades and eventually donated to the Japanese Canadian National Museum.
Pictured here is Eiji, the young son of the Okiawas, in his sailor tunic. Tragically his life was taken by the Fraser River. Accidental deaths were common in those pioneer days.