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Signing up enhances your TCE experience with the ability to save items to your personal reading list, and access the interactive map. Article by Regan Shrumm. Published Online October 22, Last Edited October 22, Before European contact, Cowichan women wove blankets out of mountain goat and dog hair, with the oldest surviving remnants dating between and years old. By the end of the 19th century, many weavers stopped making handwoven blankets and took up knitting needles instead.
It is not known for certain how knitting first emerged among the Coast Salish. One theory is that Jeremina Colvin, an immigrant to the Cowichan Valley from the Shetland Islands located northeast of Scotland in the late s, taught Indigenous women how to card, spin and knit. Some believe Colvin taught them the Fair Isle style of knitting; a technique which came out of the Shetland Islands that created row patterns with multiple colours, similar to a Cowichan cupid near north cowichan design.
However, the Cowichan sweater remains unique because of its heavy, unprocessed hand-spun wool, geometric patterns, colour and design. A second theory is that the Sisters of St.
Ann, a Roman Catholic institution founded in Quebec to promote the education of rural children, brought knitting to the West Coast. Infour Sisters of St. Ann traveled from Montreal to Victoria to open a schoolhouse for the local children.
Inthe Sisters established a second school in DuncanBritish Columbiafor Indigenous girls. While the children at both schools received an elementary education, they were also made cupid near north cowichan learn domestic skills, such as knitting, which were considered a means to assimilation. This tradition of teaching knitting in residential schools continued well into the late s. Competing theories aside, the Cowichan sweater remains unique because it combines the old practice of Coast Salish weaving with European knitting techniques.
Textile expert Priscilla Gibson-Roberts affirms that when Salish women and girls were first taught how to knit, they were not satisfied with the patterns, and therefore incorporated designs from traditional weavings. Some of the two-colour patterns of traditional Cowichan blankets have carried into the modern-day Cowichan sweater.
The earliest record of the Cowichan sweater is from the early cupid near north cowichan. During this time, only Coast Salish people wore the sweaters. However, by the s, during a period when Indigenous crafts were seen by settlers as valuable collectibles, the sweaters attracted the attention of outsiders.
Indian agents — the federal administrators of Indigenous policy — sent the garments to fairs and cupid near north cowichan, raising their profile in the non-Indigenous marketplace.
In response to this interest, knitters began to sell their sweaters to merchants in downtown DuncanVictoria and Vancouver. By the s, the Canadian government tried to reinforce the commodification of the sweaters by teaching knitting in residential schools so that the sweaters could produce more income for Indigenous communities. Coast Salish knitters have always made a meager income from the sweater.
One reason is that, in order to sell cupid near north cowichan sweaters at certain stores, many knitters were forced to pay for overpriced wool from the same store. In addition, buyers did not offer fair prices to the knitters. Due to the isolation of most Coast Salish communities in the s, they were dependent on middlemen buyers to move their product to the marketplace.
The Indian Act reinforced this dependency; on reserveIndigenous people could not get bank financing to build their own businesses. Lastly, the commodification of the sweaters created a market for mass-produced and cheaply made knock-offs that was difficult for Cowichan knitters to compete in with their handmade and often more expensive products. However, many knitters have continued their practice — though most often as a part-time endeavour — as a means of providing a supplementary income for them and their families.
Inthe Government of Canada designated both the Coast Salish knitters and the Cowichan sweater as nationally and historically significant cupid near north cowichan their innovativeness. Each Cowichan sweater has a unique design, thickness, cupid near north cowichan and shape, yet they share many characteristics. They incorporate bulky home-spun wool that is unprocessed — one of the key features that distinguishes a genuine sweater from an imitation.
All of the sweaters are knit in the round, meaning they are knit in one piece, and the garment is tubular. The sweaters use two or three natural wool colours, including white, blackish-brown and grey. They also include a shawl-style collar and a v-neck with extra folded fabric on the back of the neck. Cowichan sweaters have several horizontal bands of designs, often including a geometric pattern repeated in the waist and shoulders, and a non-geometric figure in the centre, all of which are continued on the back and on the sleeves.
While the original sweaters were pullovers, newer designs feature the addition of buttons or zippers. After the sweater was knit, the fabric was cut and cupid near north cowichan additions sewn in. The sweaters are warm and durable — features that made them popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The designs of Cowichan sweaters come from a cupid near north cowichan of sources. Some are copies of traditional Coast Salish blankets and baskets, while others are taken from everyday items, from floor tiles to wallpaper.
Some designs are only for Indigenous use and are not put on sweaters that are sold to the public. Many cupid near north cowichan can knit without using a pattern, and instead examine ordinary objects like tablecloths or lace curtains, and turn them into designs.
Although each pattern may not have a specific context, for many knitters, patterns often come with personal stories that give these designs symbolic meaning. Some knitters, like Tsartlip knitter May Sam, have innovated the typical Cowichan sweater design and patterns. Sam adds felted wool tassels to her hats, uses colourful acrylic wool and creates her own patterns for unique subject matters such as different NHL team logos. While copies of Cowichan sweaters surfaced in the s, the more famous imitations came during the s to s, when many yarn supply stores in Canada and the United States began selling knitting patterns that mimicked Cowichan designs.
By this time, Cowichan sweaters were internationally well-known. Imitation sweaters made of cheaper materials had become more readily available, therefore making it more difficult for the knitters to sell their hand-made products in the same market.
Some wholesalers also insisted on specific patterns for particular markets — especially in Japan — which detracted from the original cupid near north cowichan. As the sweater became marketed as a fashion garment, many consumers could not tell the difference between the authentic sweaters and the imitations.
Often, the customers did not even realize the Indigenous origins of the sweater, and in fact, many preferred buying the imitations from clothing lines with established brand names.
Since knitters could not compete with the machine-made and less expensive versions, many either stopped knitting altogether or cupid near north cowichan making lower quality sweaters as well as buying commercial wool to save time. Some Coast Salish knitters also began importing Australian wool instead of relying on local production. Therefore, by the s, the sweater changed to respond to cupid near north cowichan demands for a sleeker, less bulky look.
It evolved from a practical garment to a fashion statement, which made it difficult to identify fake Cowichan sweaters. As a means of reclaiming the sweater, the Cowichan Tribes created a label using the term Genuine Cowichan on its products to protect against imitations.
Inthe Cowichan Tribes sued a commercial wholesaler to protect the integrity of the name Genuine Cowichan, a tactic that worked until a federal trademark was filed in and registered in Genuine Cowichan still protects the integrity of Cowichan sweaters by setting guidelines for designs. Knitters cupid near north cowichan various opinions of the impact of the fake sweaters.
A few, such as Sarah Modeste, cupid near north cowichan some benefit in the popularity of the design. In many cases, Indigneous knitters have called out brand name companies that have appropriated their designs.
Inthe American cupid near north cowichan Nordstrom removed use of the word Cowichan to describe a sweater in their collection and issued an apology.
Weaving: Weaving consists of interlacing two different sets of yarn that are run straight and perpendicular to each other in an over and under motion. Weaving is conducted either with the fingers or a loom.
Knitting: Knitting cupid near north cowichan to the action of interlocking rows cupid near north cowichan loops of yarn called stitches with knitting needles or a machine. Are you interested in an engaging way to teach Canadian history AND win money for your classroom? Competition starts 8 January Search The Canadian Encyclopedia. Remember me. I forgot my password. Why sign up? Create Account.
Suggest an Edit. Enter your suggested edit s to this article in the form field below. Accessed 21 January Cowichan Sweater. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published October 16, ; Last Edited October 16, The Canadian Encyclopedia. Thank you for your submission Our team will be reviewing your submission and get back to you with any further questions. Thanks for contributing to The Canadian Encyclopedia.
The Cowichan sweater is a garment created in North America with a distinctly patterned design knitted out of bulky-weighted yarn. It originated during the late 19th century among the Cowichan, a Coast Salish people in British Columbia. Historically also called the Indian sweater or Siwash sweater a derogatory Chinook word for Indigenous peoplethe Cowichan people reclaimed the name after the s as a means of emphasizing their claim to the garment. The popularity of the sweater by the mids thrust Cowichan sweaters into the world of international fashion, where they have been appropriated by non-Indigenous designers.
Nevertheless, several knitters from various Coast Salish communities around Vancouver Island and the mainland cupid near north cowichan British Columbia continue to create and sell authentic sweaters.
Inthe Canadian government recognized Cowichan knitters and sweaters as nationally and historically significant. This sweater featuring the Thunderbird design was handmade by Cowichan artist, Cupid near north cowichan Wilson, using locally-sourced wool.
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Colwood was incorporated in and has a population of approximately 19, people. It is one of the 13 component municipalities of Greater Victoria. Set along more than 5 km of oceanfront, this fast-growing seaside community is home to abundant forests, parks and trails as well as several historic sites including Fort Rodd Hill, Fisgard Lighthouse and Hatley Castle.
Colwood almost became the seat of the Crown of the Commonwealth realm inwhen, after matchmaking near colwood bc start of World War II matchmaking near colwood bc, the government planned to relocate King George VIQueen Elizabethand their children, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaretto the castle for protection.
The government transferred the estate to the Canadian Armed Forces. It adapted the site for use as Royal Roads Military Collegea naval training facility from mids. The military college was closed in the s, and the estate is now the campus of the public Royal Roads Universitywhich opened in The original residence is surrounded by extensive formal gardens, including a featured Japanese garden. There hasn't been a keeper here since the light was automated inbut every year many thousands of visitors step inside a real 19th century light and capture some of the feeling of ships wrecked and lives saved.
Built by the British inwhen Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada, Fisgard's red brick house and white tower has stood faithfully at the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour. Built by the British in the s, this coast artillery fort was designed to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base. Visitors come to explore the three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements that are the vestiges of a bygone era.
Set on a wide open waterfront park near the Fisgard Matchmaking near colwood bc, visitors can see the sea and mountain views, go for bird watches and investigate the tide pools along the shoreline. As it lies geographically to the south of Victoria, Colwood is western Canada 's southernmost city. In the Census of Population conducted by Statistics CanadaColwood had a population of 18, living in 7, of its 7, total private dwellings, a change of With a matchmaking near colwood bc area of According to the censusreligious groups in Colwood included: .
Colwood is a part of the School District 62 Sooke. There is one middle school: Dunsmuir. A new high school, Royal Bay Secondary Schoolopened in Colwood is also home to Matchmaking near colwood bc Roads University.
Esquimalt Lagoon is a beach and wildlife preserve with a view of Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University in the background. A small plaque on a concrete cairn in the shore of the Esquimalt Lagoon outlines its history. Unloading place for large vessels serving Victoria in days of sail, it was once a scene of disaster. On April 1, a southeasterly gale swept the haven, beaching the ships Southern Chief, Gettysburg, Connaught and Tiger.
Province of British Columbia. Erected by the Themopylac Club Colwood was originally one of four large farms established by the Hudson's Bay Company in the s to supply the steadily increasing population of Fort Matchmaking near colwood bc. Edward E. The farmhouse was called 'Colwood' after his home in Sussex, England. Kanakas Hawaiian Islanders were employed as shepherds for the herd of Southdown sheep. Langford gave birth to the first white male child born in the colony. In Fisgard Lighthouse was constructed at the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour.
It was 47 matchmaking near colwood bc high, and visible for 10 nautical miles. In it was connected by a causeway to the shore at the base of Fort Rodd Hill. John Gilmore owned the sawmill. The building was later transferred across the road and became the home of the Ross matchmaking near colwood bc. The Fort guarded the entrance to the Royal Navy yards at Esquimalt.
Matchmaking near colwood bc original Matchmaking near colwood bc Hotel was burned down and a two-story framed, square-shaped building was rebuilt by the proprietor, Mr Campbell. He matchmaking near colwood bc enlarged the building and sold it to Mrs Miller, who became the owner of the Goldstream Inn.
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Wikimedia Commons. This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. City in British Columbia, Canada. Location of Colwood within the Capital Regional District. This section does not cite any sources.
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