Ethnology Collection - Woman’s Peaked Hat

Important Symbols of Status and Place

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Did these hats pre-date the arrival of Europeans? No one knows for sure. Regardless, by the 1800s they had become important symbols of the status and place of Mi’kmaw women within their communities. Look closely at this colourful beaded cap and its double-curve motif, a fine example of traditional Mi’kmaw design. Compare it to the other hat in this collection. You can see that both designs required great skill and care – sure signs of just how important these objects were. This hat was obtained by former Nova Scotia Museum curator Harry Piers in 1933 from Mi’kmaw elder Edith Thomas of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.

Object type: 
Peaked Hat
Object #: 
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
Early 20th Century
Truro, Nova Scotia
Wool Fibre, Silk, Cotton, Feather and Glass Beads.
14 cm x 16 cm