Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:38

Esplanade acquires valuable war artifact

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Residents of Medicine Hat have an opportunity to experience a unique meeting of their heritage and scientific methods with the temporary exhibition of an artifact at the Esplanade Museum until the New Year.

They also have the prospect of introducing visiting family and friends to something they are unlikely to see anywhere else.
A First Nations War Shirt, called a Soo-Car-Sim, was recently returned to the Esplanade Museum by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) a world renowned federal organization, based in Ottawa, which specializes in museum conservation and restoration. The Shirt was taken in combat from a Nehiyawak (Cree) warrior by a Kainai (Blood) warrior.
The Kainai warrior later wore it during the Battle of the Belly River, also known as the Battle of Lethbridge, between the same two Nations in 1870.
The artifact entered the Esplanade Museum’s collection as part of the Burkitt Collection which was purchased by the Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District in the early 1950’s. The collection had been assembled, by purchase and commission, by Thyrza Burkitt a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. She had a keen interest in First Nations peoples and documented much of the collection, including who made the items or who she purchased them from.
The War Shirt, including an extensive description of the means and methods used to conserve it, are on exhibit in the Permanent Gallery of the Esplanade Museum until January, 2014.

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