The Tsuu T'ina or Sarcee are an Athapaskan people whose reserve adjoins the southwestern city limits of Calgary.
In 1921, Diamond Jenness initiated research among northern Athapaskans by spending two summer months with the Sarcee in order to learn about their social and cultural traditions. His findings, published by the National Museum of Canada in 1938, offer a fascinating look at the flourishing culture of this previously little-known First Nation. Chapters consider Tsuu T'ina history of the pre-reserve era, social organization and the cycle of life, religion and medicine, and ceremonialism, including the Sun Dance.
Plate 5. Old Sarcee’s blanket.
(Canadian Museum of History 77013)
The blanket of Old Sarcee, painted by a relative with red and blue figures from patterns the old man himself had cut out in paper. He was 79 years old when he thus revived his war memories, rather reluctantly, because he could no longer depict them on a buffalo hide, but only on the worthless hide of a steer. The scenes are not in consecutive order, but arranged to suit his fancy and to conform with the shape of the blanket.