The Métis specialized the manufacture of colourfully ornamented horse gear and fancy garments. These items were purchased by the Indians who sold them to eager white travelers — as the whites preferred to acquire these items from "real" Indians. As a result, most Métis art preserved in museums is mistakenly identified as originating from various Indian tribes. Their true Métis origin is seldom recognized.
In fact, the study of Métis art is complicated because their art style influenced Indian artisans all over the Northern Plains. The Métis, through Indians buying their crafts, intermarriage of Métis and Indians and the migrations of Métis people into the most remote corners of our country, put their stamp of the art of practically every tribal group of the Northern Plains and Northwest Territories. The Indians called the Métis the "Flower Beadwork People".
Dancing — in the form of jigging and fiddle music occupied most nights. Métis jigging is a unique combination of Irish, Scottish and French dancing and traditional Indian Plains dances.
Métis fiddlers are renowned as some of the deftest, most melodic of fiddlers — incorporating the different elements of Irish, Scottish, and French idioms, Métis fiddlers created their own unique folk music which is still a vital part of Métis culture and celebration.
Historians generally acknowledge that it was Métis dancing that evolved into what we know today as the square dance.
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