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Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, LEATHER, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20180001001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Materials
WOOD, LEATHER, METAL
No. Pieces
2
Height
9
Length
58.5
Width
22
Description
A. BANJOLELE, 53 CM LONG X 19 CM WIDE X 5.5 CM TALL. BODY IS POLISHED BROWN WOOD WITH WHITE LEATHER DRUM/HEAD; BODY HAS SILVER METAL TAIL PIECE AND TONE RING AROUND DRUM/HEAD. NECK AND HEAD-STOCK ARE COVERED IN PEARL/TORTOISE SHELL; FRET ON NECK IS STRUNG WITH ONE SILVER WIRE AND ONE CLOTH STRING; FRETBOARD IS LINED WITH SILVER METAL FRETS. HEAD-STOCK HAS FOUR SILVER METAL TUNING PEGS AND BLACK AND GOLD TEXT LABEL “VALENCIA”. BACK HAS FOUR DISCOLORED WHITE, WOODEN TUNING PEGS AND SILVER METAL SPRING AT JUNCTION OF NECK AND HEAD-STOCK. BACK OF DRUM BODY HAS CUT-OUT SWIRLS IN WOOD. WOOD BODY IS SCRATCHED AND WORN AT EDGES; BACK OF NECK HAS PEELING FINISH ON WOOD; LEATHER OF DRUM/HEAD IS WORN AND STAINED BLACK. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. CASE, 58.5 CM LONG X 9 CM TALL X 22 CM WIDE. CASE IS BROWN CLOTH COVERING A PAPER BOARD IN SHAPE OF BANJOLELE, WITH WIDER BASE. CASE OPENS AT BASE AND HAS BROWN LEATHER HINGE AND SILVER METAL CLASP. BROWN LEATHER HANDLE ON SIDE OF CASE IS BROKEN AND DETACHED AT END. INSIDE OF CASE IS LINED WITH DARK GREEN FABRIC. TOP OF CASE HAS “L W” HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK. CASE IS WORN AROUND EDGES AND CLOTH IS FRAYING; BOTTOM OF CASE HAS WATER DAMAGE AND WHITE STAINING; TOP OF CASE HAS WHITE STAINING AND SCRATCHES. LEATHER HINGE AND HANDLE ARE CRACKED AND FADED. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
MUSICAL T&E
Historical Association
LEISURE
HOME ENTERTAINMENT
History
ON JANUARY 24, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BEVE SPENGLER AND RUTH HILL REGARDING RUTH’S DONATION OF A BANJOLELE AND GUITAR. THE INSTRUMENTS WERE KEPT AND PLAYED BY THEIR FATHER, SYDNEY JAMES WOMACK, IN THE 1930S AND 1940S. ON THE BANJOLELE, RUTH RECALLED, “I CAN’T REMEMBER [MUCH] ABOUT [IT] AT ALL, BECAUSE HE BOUGHT [THE GUITAR] BUT SOMEHOW HE MUST HAVE SEEN THIS, AND THEN HE THOUGHT FOR LORNE [OUR BROTHER] HE WOULD BUY THAT [BANJOLELE] TO MATCH THE GUITAR.” “MY DAD USED TO PLAY ME TO SLEEP FROM THE TIME…WE WENT OUT TO THE FARM IN ’30. I WAS BORN IN ’27, SO ALL THE ‘30S HE PLAYED ME TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT…I NEVER SAW MY DAD PLAY [THE BANJOLELE] YET HE BOUGHT IT BECAUSE HE KNEW THERE WAS A MATCHING PAIR. HE COULDN’T AFFORD BOTH OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME. HE BOUGHT HIS GUITAR AND THEN, LATER ON WHEN HE HAD SOME MORE MONEY, HE WENT AND GOT THAT FOR LORNE, BUT I CAN’T REMEMBER HIM PLAYING IT.” “[HE BOUGHT THE BANJOLELE] HERE IN LETHBRIDGE. HE BROUGHT [HIS] VIOLIN FROM THE STATES, BUT THOSE TWO PIECES WERE BOUGHT IN LETHBRIDGE. I DON’T KNOW WHERE AT, BUT I KNOW IT WAS IN THE EARLY ‘20S BECAUSE THEY CAME TO THE FARM WITH US IN ’30. THEY CAME HERE IN ’18…HE WORKED AT THE CPR AS AN OILER AND THEN HE ENDED UP AT THE GALT GARDENS WORKING WITH THE PLANTS. WHEN THAT FIZZLED OUT, HE WANTED A FARM SO WE WENT FARMING.” HILL ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S MUSICAL BACKGROUND, NOTING, “[MY PARENTS] MOVED FROM ENGLAND TO IOWA. THEY WERE THERE FOR SEVEN YEARS AND DADDY LEARNED TO PLAY THE VIOLIN IN THE TOILET, IN THE OUTHOUSE. THAT’S WHAT HE TOLD US.” “HE LOVED MUSIC AND ACTUALLY HIS BEST WAS HAWAIIAN GUITAR…THAT’S WHY HE GOT [THE GUITAR], BECAUSE HE LOVED HAWAIIAN MUSIC. HE LOVED TO PLAY HAWAIIAN SONGS ON [THE GUITAR] BECAUSE THEY WERE SLOWER. THE VIOLIN HE COULD REALLY GO TO TOWN AND PLAY TWO STEPS.” “[WE] USED TO GO [TO DANCES] EVERY MONTH. I CAN SEE HIM WITH THE OLD MODEL T—HE WOULD HAVE TO PUT A FIRE UNDER IT TO GET IT STARTED AT HOME, THEN WE WOULD GO FOR THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT AND HE WOULD START PLAYING UNTIL TWO IN THE MORNING. THEN HE HAS TO PUT THE FIRE UNDER TO GET THE CAR GOING AGAIN. THEY WERE BAD YEARS BUT THEY WERE WONDERFUL YEARS…FROM [1933] UNTIL I WENT OUT IN GRADE NINE HE USED TO COME, WE USED TO HAVE DANCES, ALL THROUGH THE THIRTIES WE HAD DANCES AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH.” BEVE ADDED, “HE PLAYED WITH OTHER MEN, HE DIDN’T PLAY BY HIMSELF.” RUTH ELABORATED, “THEY HAD A LADY ON THE PIANO, THEY HAD DADDY ON THE VIOLIN, AND THEN THEY HAD ANOTHER CHAP ON THE DRUMS…[OUR FATHER] TOOK THE LEAD. THE VIOLIN WOULD ALWAYS START BEFORE, BECAUSE HE HAD THE MEMORY OF THE PIECES HE WANTED TO PLAY AND NOBODY ELSE KNEW NOTHING UNTIL HE GOT STARTED. THEN THEY’D JOIN IN.” “HE WAS STILL PLAYING THE VIOLIN, HE USED TO LIKE TO PLAY THE VIOLIN. EVEN IN THE ‘40S [HE LIKED TO PLAY THE VIOLIN], I CAN REMEMBER THAT. HE DIDN’T SO MUCH PLAY [THE OTHER INSTRUMENTS] BUT HE PLAYED THE VIOLIN. “ “HE WAS GOOD. THAT DANCE FLOOR IN THE SCHOOL THERE WOULD BE LOADED AS SOON AS HE STARTED PLAYING. AS SOON AS HE STARTED TO PLAY THEY WERE ALL UP, AND AT NIGHT NOBODY LEFT UNTIL TWO IN THE MORNING…HE USED TO TAKE THE GUITAR AND PLAY THE WALTZES ON THAT, BUT THE VIOLIN HE WOULD PLAY THE OTHERS.” “THAT CLASSICAL [MUSIC], HE HAD NO USE FOR [IT]. HE USED TO SAY, “THERE’S NO BEAT THERE.” THEY WERE HIS WORDS. THERE WAS NO BEAT AND HE SAID, “IF THEY CAN’T PLAY THIS, I’M NOT LISTENING.” HE COULDN’T READ MUSIC, BUT IF HE COULD SEE THE [NOTES] AS [THEY] WENT UP OR DOWN…THAT’S WHAT HE’D LOOK AT, AND THEN HE’D LEARN TO PLAY THAT SONG. THAT WAS ON THE GUITAR, THAT WAS FOR THE HAWAIIAN PART.” “[HE HAD THE INSTRUMENTS] ON OUR FARM AT KIPP, ALBERTA AND ON THE FARMHOUSE, I’M IN THE BED. HE [WOULD BE] PLAYING THAT AND THEN I’D GO TO SLEEP TO HIM PLAYING THAT DAY IN, WEEK AFTER WEEK. YEAR AFTER YEAR. HE ALWAYS PLAYED ME TO SLEEP.” “HE [PLAYED] IN THE FRONT ROOM. [THE INSTRUMENTS] STAYED IN THE CORNER, HE BUILT A SHELF FOR THE RADIO AND THEN [THE GUITAR] STOOD UNDERNEATH THAT SHELF. THAT’S WHERE [THEY] STAYED…[THE INSTRUMENTS WERE] WITH MY DAD UNTIL ’93, THEN HE CAME TO LIVE WITH ME AND OF COURSE HE BROUGHT HIS THINGS WITH HIM. I NEVER THOUGHT THEY WERE IN MY CLOSET AND I HADN’T DONE A BIG CLEANING, SO THEY’VE JUST BEEN THERE. NOW I THOUGHT IT’S TIME TO LET SOMEBODY ELSE LOOK AT THEM...[OUR FATHER] DIED IN ’98.” “I DIDN’T WANT THE INSTRUMENTS TO BE GARBAGED. I WANTED THEM TO MEAN SOMETHING, AND I KNEW…THE MUSEUM WOULD ACCEPT THEM…IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL [FOR MY DAD TO PLAY FOR ME] BECAUSE I LOVE MUSIC TOO. THAT WAS REALLY SOMETHING TO HAVE HIM PLAYING TO ME ALL THE TIME [AT BEDTIME].” “LET SOMEBODY ELSE LOOK AT [THE INSTRUMENTS] NOW. I’VE GOT ALL THE MEMORIES…I CAN SEE HIM PLAYING [THEM], I CAN HEAR HIM PLAYING [THEM], I CAN SEE IT AT THE DANCEHALL, I’VE GOT IT RIGHT THERE. SO SOMEBODY ELSE CAN LOOK AT [THEM] NOW.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND PHOTOGRAPHS, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180001001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180001001
Acquisition Date
2018-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, SHELL
Catalogue Number
P20180001002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Materials
WOOD, METAL, SHELL
No. Pieces
2
Height
9
Length
94
Width
32.5
Description
A. GUITAR, 94 CM LONG X 32.5 CM WIDE X 9 CM TALL. WOODEN BODY WITH PEARL/TORTOISE SHELL INLAID AS PICK GUARD AND ALONG FRET BOARD; GUITAR IS STRUNG WITH SIX WIRE STRINGS. GUITAR HAS SIX TUNING KNOBS AT HEAD WITH WHITE PLASTIC HANDLES ON METAL SCREWS. GUITAR BODY HAS DECORATIVE BROWN, RED AND GREEN TRIM AROUND EDGE; GUITAR HAS BLACK KNOB AT BASE. “VALENCIA” LABEL AT TOP OF HEAD; GUITAR SHOWS WEAR AND STAINING ON PICK GUARD AND FRET BOARD; GUITAR HAS SOILING INSIDE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. GUITAR CASE, 100 CM LONG X 37 CM WIDE X 13 CM TALL. BLACK FAUX-LEATHER EXTERIOR WITH LEATHER BUCKLE AT BASE AND LEATHER HANDLE FIXED TO TOP WITH SILVER RINGS; CASE OPENS AT BASE. BASE OF CASE HAS BLACK METAL SNAP AROUND LEATHER BUCKLE STRAP. INSIDE OF CASE LINED WITH BROWN FAUX-FUR. CASE IS HEAVILY WORN ON EDGES AND PEELING; CASE IS SCRATCHED ON SIDES; LEATHER BUCKLE STRAP AT BASE IS CRACKED AND FADED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
MUSICAL T&E
Historical Association
LEISURE
HOME ENTERTAINMENT
History
ON JANUARY 24, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BEVE SPENGLER AND RUTH HILL REGARDING RUTH’S DONATION OF A BANJOLELE AND GUITAR. THE INSTRUMENTS WERE KEPT AND PLAYED BY THEIR FAMER, SYDNEY JAMES WOMACK, IN THE 1930S AND 1940S. ON THE GUITAR, RUTH HILL RECALLED, “HE BOUGHT IT AND STARTED STRUMMING ON IT…IT WAS ALWAYS ON HIS LAP…MY DAD USED TO PLAY ME TO SLEEP FROM THE TIME…WE WENT OUT TO THE FARM IN ’30. I WAS BORN IN ’27, SO ALL THE ‘30S HE PLAYED ME TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT…I NEVER SAW MY DAD PLAY [THE BANJOLELE] YET HE BOUGHT IT BECAUSE HE KNEW THERE WAS A MATCHING PAIR. HE COULDN’T AFFORD BOTH OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME. HE BOUGHT HIS GUITAR AND THEN, LATER ON WHEN HE HAD SOME MORE MONEY, HE WENT AND GOT [THE BANJOLELE] FOR LORNE.” “HE LOVED MUSIC AND ACTUALLY HIS BEST WAS HAWAIIAN GUITAR…THAT’S WHY HE GOT [THE GUITAR], BECAUSE HE LOVED HAWAIIAN MUSIC. HE LOVED TO PLAY HAWAIIAN SONGS ON [THE GUITAR] BECAUSE THEY WERE SLOWER. THE VIOLIN HE COULD REALLY GO TO TOWN AND PLAY TWO STEPS.” “[HE BOUGHT THE GUITAR] HERE IN LETHBRIDGE. HE BROUGHT [HIS] VIOLIN FROM THE STATES, BUT THOSE TWO PIECES WERE BOUGHT IN LETHBRIDGE. I DON’T KNOW WHERE AT, BUT I KNOW IT WAS IN THE EARLY ‘20S BECAUSE THEY CAME TO THE FARM WITH US IN ’30. THEY CAME HERE IN ’18…HE WORKED AT THE CPR AS AN OILER AND THEN HE ENDED UP AT THE GALT GARDENS WORKING WITH THE PLANTS. WHEN THAT FIZZLED OUT, HE WANTED A FARM SO WE WENT FARMING.” HILL ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S MUSICAL BACKGROUND, NOTING, “[MY PARENTS] MOVED FROM ENGLAND TO IOWA. THEY WERE THERE FOR SEVEN YEARS AND DADDY LEARNED TO PLAY THE VIOLIN IN THE TOILET, IN THE OUTHOUSE. THAT’S WHAT HE TOLD US.” “[WE] USED TO GO [TO DANCES] EVERY MONTH. I CAN SEE HIM WITH THE OLD MODEL T—HE WOULD HAVE TO PUT A FIRE UNDER IT TO GET IT STARTED AT HOME, THEN WE WOULD GO FOR THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT AND HE WOULD START PLAYING UNTIL TWO IN THE MORNING. THEN HE HAS TO PUT THE FIRE UNDER TO GET THE CAR GOING AGAIN. THEY WERE BAD YEARS BUT THEY WERE WONDERFUL YEARS…FROM [1933] UNTIL I WENT OUT IN GRADE NINE HE USED TO COME, WE USED TO HAVE DANCES, ALL THROUGH THE THIRTIES WE HAD DANCES AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH.” BEVE ADDED, “HE PLAYED WITH OTHER MEN, HE DIDN’T PLAY BY HIMSELF.” RUTH ELABORATED, “THEY HAD A LADY ON THE PIANO, THEY HAD DADDY ON THE VIOLIN, AND THEN THEY HAD ANOTHER CHAP ON THE DRUMS…[OUR FATHER] TOOK THE LEAD. THE VIOLIN WOULD ALWAYS START BEFORE, BECAUSE HE HAD THE MEMORY OF THE PIECES HE WANTED TO PLAY AND NOBODY ELSE KNEW NOTHING UNTIL HE GOT STARTED. THEN THEY’D JOIN IN.” “HE WAS STILL PLAYING THE VIOLIN, HE USED TO LIKE TO PLAY THE VIOLIN. EVEN IN THE ‘40S [HE LIKED TO PLAY THE VIOLIN], I CAN REMEMBER THAT. HE DIDN’T SO MUCH PLAY [THE OTHER INSTRUMENTS] BUT HE PLAYED THE VIOLIN. “ “HE WAS GOOD. THAT DANCE FLOOR IN THE SCHOOL THERE WOULD BE LOADED AS SOON AS HE STARTED PLAYING. AS SOON AS HE STARTED TO PLAY THEY WERE ALL UP, AND AT NIGHT NOBODY LEFT UNTIL TWO IN THE MORNING…HE USED TO TAKE THE GUITAR AND PLAY THE WALTZES ON THAT, BUT THE VIOLIN HE WOULD PLAY THE OTHERS.” “THAT CLASSICAL [MUSIC], HE HAD NO USE FOR [IT]. HE USED TO SAY, “THERE’S NO BEAT THERE.” THEY WERE HIS WORDS. THERE WAS NO BEAT AND HE SAID, “IF THEY CAN’T PLAY THIS, I’M NOT LISTENING.” HE COULDN’T READ MUSIC, BUT IF HE COULD SEE THE [NOTES] AS [THEY] WENT UP OR DOWN…THAT’S WHAT HE’D LOOK AT, AND THEN HE’D LEARN TO PLAY THAT SONG. THAT WAS ON THE GUITAR, THAT WAS FOR THE HAWAIIAN PART.” “[HE HAD THE INSTRUMENTS] ON OUR FARM AT KIPP, ALBERTA AND ON THE FARMHOUSE, I’M IN THE BED. HE [WOULD BE] PLAYING THAT AND THEN I’D GO TO SLEEP TO HIM PLAYING THAT DAY IN, WEEK AFTER WEEK. YEAR AFTER YEAR. HE ALWAYS PLAYED ME TO SLEEP.” “HE [PLAYED] IN THE FRONT ROOM. [THE INSTRUMENTS] STAYED IN THE CORNER, HE BUILT A SHELF FOR THE RADIO AND THEN [THE GUITAR] STOOD UNDERNEATH THAT SHELF. THAT’S WHERE [THEY] STAYED…[THE INSTRUMENTS WERE] WITH MY DAD UNTIL ’93, THEN HE CAME TO LIVE WITH ME AND OF COURSE HE BROUGHT HIS THINGS WITH HIM. I NEVER THOUGHT THEY WERE IN MY CLOSET AND I HADN’T DONE A BIG CLEANING, SO THEY’VE JUST BEEN THERE. NOW I THOUGHT IT’S TIME TO LET SOMEBODY ELSE LOOK AT THEM...[OUR FATHER] DIED IN ’98.” “I DIDN’T WANT THE INSTRUMENTS TO BE GARBAGED. I WANTED THEM TO MEAN SOMETHING, AND I KNEW…THE MUSEUM WOULD ACCEPT THEM…IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL [FOR MY DAD TO PLAY FOR ME] BECAUSE I LOVE MUSIC TOO. THAT WAS REALLY SOMETHING TO HAVE HIM PLAYING TO ME ALL THE TIME [AT BEDTIME].” “LET SOMEBODY ELSE LOOK AT [THE INSTRUMENTS] NOW. I’VE GOT ALL THE MEMORIES…I CAN SEE HIM PLAYING [THEM], I CAN HEAR HIM PLAYING [THEM], I CAN SEE IT AT THE DANCEHALL, I’VE GOT IT RIGHT THERE. SO SOMEBODY ELSE CAN LOOK AT [THEM] NOW.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND PHOTOGRAPHS, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180001001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180001002
Acquisition Date
2018-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail