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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
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
No. Pieces
1
Height
107
Diameter
54.5
Description
WOODEN SPINNING WHEEL COATED WITH RED WOOD VARNISH. THE BOBBIN IS APPROX. 11.5CM IN LENGTH AND APPROX. 9CM IN DIAMETER. THERE IS SOME HANDSPUN, WHITE YARN REMAINING ON THE BOBBIN, IN ADDITION TO A SMALL AMOUNT OF GREEN YARN. THE SPINNING WHEEL IS FULLY ASSEMBLED. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FLYER THERE ARE 10 METAL HOOKS. ON THE LEFT SIDE ONE OF THE 10 HOOKS IS PARTIALLY BROKEN OFF. ON THE FRONT MAIDEN, A WHITE STRING IS TIED AROUND A FRONT KNOB WITH A METAL WIRE BENT LIKE A HOOK (POSSIBLY TO PULL YARN THROUGH THE METAL ORIFICE ATTACHED TO FLYER). LONG SECTION OF RED YARN LOOPED AROUND THE SPINNING WHEEL (MAY BE DRIVE BAND). TREADLE IS TIED TO THE FOOTMAN WITH A DARK GREY, FLAT STRING THAT IS 5MM IN WIDTH. GOOD CONDITION. TREADLE IS WELL WORN WITH VARNISH WORN OFF AND METAL NAIL HEADS EXPOSED.
Subjects
TEXTILEWORKING T&E
Historical Association
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. MORRIS ACQUIRED THIS SPINNING WHEEL FROM HER MOTHER AT THE SAME TIME SHE ACQUIRED THE RUG (P20160003006-GA). SHE EXPLAINS: “I ASKED HER IF I COULD USE THE SPINNING WHEEL – SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN. AND SHE ALSO TAUGHT ME HOW TO WEAVE, ACTUALLY MY GRANDMOTHER DID THAT MORE SO THAN MY MOTHER. AND I BELONG TO THE WEAVERS’ GUILD, SO I THOUGHT THAT I BETTER DO SOME SPINNING. AND I DID SOME, SO THAT’S WHY I’VE GOT IT HERE AND MOTHER SAID NOT TO BOTHER BRINGING IT BECAUSE SHE WASN’T GOING TO DO ANYMORE SPINNING. SHE HAD LOTS AND LOTS OF YARN THAT SHE DID. SO IT’S BEEN SITTING HERE; IT WAS IN THE BASEMENT.” THE WHEEL WAS MADE FOR ELIZABETH KONKIN WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS EXPLAINED THAT: “… [THE SPINNING WHEEL] WAS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR HER. SHE WAS VERY YOUNG. AND THAT IS THE CADILLAC OF SPINNING WHEELS… BECAUSE SHE KNEW WHO THE SPINNERS WERE, WHO THE SPINNING WHEEL CARPENTERS WERE. AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR MAN AND HER MOTHER SAID, ‘WE’LL GO TO THAT ONE.’ AND THEN IN TURN, IN PAYMENT, SHE WOVE HIM ENOUGH MATERIAL TO MAKE A SUIT – A LINEN ONE… [T]HEY DIDN’T LIVE IN CASTELLAR, THEY LIVED IN ANOTHER PLACE. IT’S CALLED - IN RUSSIAN IT IS CALLED OOTISCHENIA. IT’S WHERE THE BIG – ONE OF THE BIG DAMS IS. IF YOU EVER GO ON THAT ROAD, THERE’LL BE DAMS – I THINK ABOUT 3 HUGE ONES… NEAR CASTELLAR, YEAH.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE TIME THE WHEEL WAS BUILT FOR HER MOTHER, MORRIS ANSWERED: “… [S]HE GOT IT LONG BEFORE [HER MARRIAGE].” SHE EXPLAINED THAT PRIOR TO MARRYING, GIRLS WOULD PUT TOGETHER TROUSSEAUS “AND THEY MAKE ALL KINDS OF FANCY THINGS WHICH THEY NEVER USE.” MORRIS RECALLS THE SPINNING WHEEL BEING USED WITHIN HER FAMILY’S HOME IN SHOULDICE AND IN THE LEAN-TO AREA IN THEIR HOME AT VAUXHALL: ‘WELL I THINK [THE SKILL IS] IN THE GENES ACTUALLY. BECAUSE MOST FAMILIES WOVE, AND THEY CERTAINLY SPUN, AS FAR AS I REMEMBER. I KNOW EVERY FALL THE LOOM WOULD COME OUT AND WE WERE LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS ON MY DAD’S [SIDE]. WE LIVED UPSTAIRS, AND EVERY WINTER THEY’D HAUL THAT HUGE LOOM INTO THE BATHHOUSE – THE STEAM BATHHOUSE – BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM ANYWHERE ELSE. AND THEY – THE LADIES SET IT UP AND IN THE SUMMERTIME. THEY TORE THE RAGS FOR THE RUGS, OR SPUN THEM. [FOR] WHATEVER THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE. MY MOM WAS SPINNING WHEN I WAS OLD. [S]HE USED MAKE MITTENS AND SOCKS FOR THE KIDS FOR MY CHILDREN AND SO WHEN SHE DIED THERE WAS A WHOLE STACK OF THESE MITTENS AND SOCKS AND I’VE BEEN GIVING IT TO MY GRAND[KIDS AND] MY GREAT GRANDKIDS” MORRIS ALSO USED THIS SPINNING WHEEL MANY TIMES HERSELF. SHE SAID, “IT WAS VERY EASY TO SPIN AND WHEN YOU TRY SOMEBODY ELSE’S SPINNING WHEEL YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE RIGHT AWAY. IT’S LIKE DRIVING A CADILLAC AND THEN DRIVING AN OLD FORD. IT’S JUST, IT’S SMOOTH. OUR SON, I TOLD YOU HE WAS VERY CLEVER, HE TRIED SPINNING AND HE SAID IT WAS JUST A VERY, VERY GOOD SPINNING WHEEL. WHEN I WAS IN THE GUILD I TRIED DOING [WHAT] MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN FINE THREAD AND I WANTED HEAVY THREAD BECAUSE NOW [THEY'RE] MAKING THESE WALL HANGINGS. THEY USE THREAD AS THICK AS TWO FINGERS SO I DID THAT AND I DYED IT. I WENT OUT AND CREATED MY OWN DYES. THAT WAS FUN AND THEN I HAVE A SAMPLER OF ALL THE DYES I MADE… I STOPPED SPINNING SHORTLY BEFORE I STOPPED WEAVING… I LOVED WEAVING. FIRST OF ALL I LEARNED HOW TO EMBROIDER. I LIKED THAT THEN I LEARNED HOW CROCHET, I LIKED THAT. THEN I LEARNED HOW TO KNIT AND THAT WAS TOPS. THEN ONE DAY I WAS VISITING MY FRIEND, FRANCES, AND SHE WAS GOING TO THE BOWMAN AND I SAID, 'WHERE ARE YOU GOING?' SHE SAID 'I’M GOING THERE TO WEAVE.' I SAID, 'I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD WEAVE?' SHE SAID, 'OH YES,' AND I SAID ‘IS IT HARD?' SHE SAID, ‘NO,” SO I WENT THERE AND I SAW THE THINGS SHE WOVE. THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL AND SO I JOINED THE GROUP AND THEN OF COURSE I WANTED TO HAVE SOME OF THE STUFF I HAD SPUN MYSELF AND DYED MYSELF AND NOBODY ELSE WANTED. THEN I DECIDED, ‘ALRIGHT, I’VE WOVEN ALL THESE THINGS, WOVE MYSELF A SUIT, LONG SKIRT YOU NAME IT. PLACE MATS GALORE. THIS LITTLE RUNNER,’ AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE REST BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS HOMESPUN STUFF. THEY WANT TO GO TO WALMART OR SOME PLACE AND BUY SOMETHING READYMADE,’ SO I GAVE UP SPINNING AND WEAVING… I STOPPED AFTER I MADE MY SUIT. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT TWENTY YEARS AGO, EASILY.” MORRIS’ MOTHER WOULD WEAVE IN SHOULDICE, BUT “[I]N VAUXHALL, NO, SHE WASN’T [WEAVING]. SHE DIDN’T HAVE A LOOM.” MORRIS SAID IN SHOULDICE, “I LEARNED HOW TO THROW THE SHUTTLE BACK AND FORTH TO WEAVE RUGS BECAUSE I USED TO SIT THERE WATCHING MY GRANDMOTHER AND SHE LET ME DO THAT, AND THEN YOU SEE WHEN I GOT SO INTERESTED IN WEAVING THAT I BOUGHT A LOOM, SITTING DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SELL IT EVER SINCE AND NOBODY WANTS IT. I OFFERED TO GIVE IT FOR FREE AND NOBODY WANTS IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE SPACE FOR IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
No. Pieces
1
Length
41
Width
36
Description
HANDMADE BAG MADE OF 3 SECTIONS OF STRIPS OF ABOUT 5 INCHES (APPROX. 13 CM) EACH. IT IS RED WITH BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND RAW MATERIAL ACCENTS. THE TRIM AT THE TOP OF THE BAG IS BLUE WITH A HANDLE OF THE SAME FABRIC ON EITHER SIDE. THERE IS A STRIP OF RAW, NOT PATTERNED FABRIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG. BOTH SIDES OF THE BAG HAVE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT OF PATTERNED STRIPS. THERE IS ONE SEAM CONNECTING THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BAG ON BOTH SIDES. THE INSIDE IS UNLINED. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SOME STITCHING COMING LOOSE AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE PATTERNING.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
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. A STATEMENT WRITTEN BY MORRIS ATTACHED TO THE BAG STATES THAT THE MATERIAL OF THE BAG ORIGINATES FROM THE 1870S. THE STATEMENT READS: “THIS BAG WAS HAND WOVEN IN STRIPS [THAT WERE USED] TO SEW ON THE BOTTOM OF PETTICOATS. THE GIRLS AT THAT TIME HAD TO HAVE A TROUSEUA [SIC] TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE AFTER MARRIAGE THERE WOULD BE NO TIME TO MAKE CLOTHES SO WHAT THEY MADE WAS STURDY. THEY STARTED ON THEIR TROUSEUS [SIC] AS SOON AS THEY COULD HOLD A NEEDLE. WHEN IT WAS HAYING TIME THE GIRLS WENT OUT INTO THE FIELD TO RAKE THE HAY. THEY WORE PETTICOATS OF LINEN TO WHICH THESE BANDS WERE SEWN. THE LONG SKIRTS WERE PICKED UP AT THE SIDES AND TUCKED INTO THE WAISTBANDS SO THAT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PETTICOATS WERE ON DISPLAY.” “THESE BANDS WERE ORIGINALLY MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S WHO CAME OUT OF RUSSIA WITH THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT IN 1899. THEY WERE PASSED ON TO MY MOTHER, ELIZABETH KONKIN, WHO MADE THEM INTO A BAG IN THE 1940S” THE STRIPS THAT MAKE UP THE BAG SERVED A UTILITARIAN PURPOSE WHEN SEWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PETTICOATS. IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS EXPLAINS: “… THESE STRIPS ARE VERY STRONG. THEY’RE LIKE CANVAS. THEY WERE SEWN ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE LADY’S PETTICOATS AND THEY WORE A SKIRT ON TOP OF THE PETTICOATS. THESE STRIPS LASTED A LIFETIME, IN FACT MORE THAN ONE LIFETIME BECAUSE I’VE GOT THEM NOW. THEY WOULD TUCK THE SKIRTS INTO THEIR WAISTBAND ON THE SIDE SO THEIR PETTICOATS SHOWED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THEIR SKIRTS NOT TO GET CAUGHT IN THE GRAIN. THE GIRLS LIKED TO WEAR THEM TO SHOW OFF BECAUSE THE BOYS WERE THERE AND THEY ALWAYS WORE THEIR VERY BEST SUNDAY CLOTHES WHEN THEY WENT CUTTING WHEAT OR GRAIN." “[THE FABRIC] CAME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THE AREA WHERE THEY CAME FROM IS NOW GEORGIA AND THEY LIVED ABOUT SEVEN MILES NORTH OF THE TURKISH BORDER, THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH BORDER… [THE DOUKHOBORS] CAME TO CANADA IN 1897 AND 1899.” MORRIS EXPLAINS THAT SURPLUS FABRIC WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO CANADA FROM RUSSIA BY HER MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER FOR FUTURE USE AND TO AID THE GIRLS IN MAKING THEIR TROUSSEAUS: “THE TROUSSEAU THE GIRLS MADE HAD TO LAST THEM A LIFETIME BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME BUT RAISING CHILDREN TO SEWING THINGS. SEWING MACHINES WERE UNKNOWN THEN.” THE BANDS OF FABRIC THAT MAKE UP THE BAG WOULD HAVE BEEN REMAINS NEVER USED FROM ELIZABETH KONKIN’S TROUSSEAU. SHE HAND WOVE THE BAG WHILE SHE WAS LIVING IN SHOULDICE. THE BAG WAS USED BY MORRIS’ MOTHER TO STORE HER KNITTING SUPPLIES. WHEN MORRIS ACQUIRED THE BAG IN THE 1990S, IT MAINTAINED A SIMILAR PURPOSE: “WELL I USED TO CARRY MY STUFF FOR THE WEAVER’S GUILD BUT NOW I DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY HANDY YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WEAR OUT.” THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAG MADE OUT OF THESE REMNANTS BY MORRIS’ MOTHER. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
No. Pieces
2
Height
29.5
Width
15
Description
A: HANDMADE DOLL. THE “ESKIMO” DOLL IS MADE WITH LIGHT BLUE, FELT-LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE FABRIC ACCENTS. THE FACE IS MADE OUT OF A LIGHTER FABRIC THAT IS PEACH-COLOURED. THE FACIAL DETAILS ARE HAND PAINTED. THE DOLL HAS BLUE EYES, EYEBROWS, NOSTRILS, RED LIPS, AND ROSY CHEEKS. THE LIGHT BLUE FABRIC THAT MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF THE DOLL’S BODY IS ENCOMPASSING THE DOLL’S FACE LIKE A HOOD. THE DOLL’S TORSO IS COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. TWO HEART-SHAPED ARMS, MADE OF THE SAME MATERIAL, ARE ATTACHED TO EITHER SIDE OF THE BODY. THE DOLLS UPPER LEG AND FEET ARE COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. FROM THE KNEES TO THE ANKLES, A LIGHTER, WHITE FABRIC IS COVERING THE LEGS. B: DOLL SKIRT. AROUND THE DOLL’S WAIST IS A DETACHABLE SKIRT MADE OF THE SAME FABRIC AND A WHITE WAISTBAND. POOR CONDITION. ALL FABRIC IS WELL-WORN AND THREADBARE IN MULTIPLE PLACES. THE DOLL’S RED STUFFING IS VISIBLE THROUGH PARTS OF THE FABRIC. THERE IS DISCOLORATION (YELLOWING) OVERALL. THE STUFFING IS NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE DOLL. THE SEAMS AT THE ARMS ARE FRAGILE. THE PAINT FOR THE DOLL’S FACE IS SEVERELY FADED.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
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. THE FAMILY 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. THIS DOLL BELONGED TO MORRIS AS A CHILD. SHE EXPLAINS, “THIS CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT WHO CAME TO VISIT US AND SHE ALWAYS BROUGHT GIFTS AND THIS ONE WAS MINE AND I LOVED THIS DOLL… I REMEMBER PLAYING WITH IT, IT WAS SOFT AND CUDDLY WHEN I HAD IT… MY DAUGHTER WENT THROUGH IT AND MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND THEN I PUT A STOP TO IT BEFORE THEY ATE IT UP OR DID SOMETHING… THEY LOVED IT AND THEY, YOU KNOW LITTLE KIDS, THEY’RE CARELESS SO I’LL KEEP IT...” IN A PHONE CALL WITH COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK ON OCTOBER 24, 2017, MORRIS SAID SHE RECIEVED THE DOLL FROM HER GREAT AUNT WHO HAD BROUGHT IT FROM VISITING BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS PLAYED WITH THE DOLL AS A CHILD, AS DID MORRIS' CHILDREN. THE DOLL WAS LOVED BY MULTIPLE GENERATIONS IN MORRIS' FAMILY AS HER GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WOULD ALSO PLAY WITH THE DOLL WHEN THEY CAME TO VISIT. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
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
Date Range From
1977
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, SILK, LEATHER
Catalogue Number
P20150038001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1977
Date Range To
2000
Materials
COTTON, SILK, LEATHER
No. Pieces
8
Length
61.0
Width
87.5
Description
KALOCSA/KALOCSAI STYLE OF HUNGARIAN DRESS. .1: BLOUSE. IVORY COLOURED, SHORT SLEEVED, SLIGHTLY SQUARE NECKLINE, EMBROIDERED, WITH CROCHETED LACE DETAILS. BLOUSE CLOSES WITH FOUR METAL SNAPS AT SHOULDER, TWO SNAPS ON EITHER SIDE OF NECKLINE. SLIGHT A-LINE SHAPE TO BLOUSE. FLOWER SHAPED CROCHETED LACE DETAILING AT CUFFS AND AROUND NECKLINE. EACH OF THE LACE FLOWERS HAS FIVE PETALS ALONG SLEEVE CUFF. CROCHET LACE DETAILING AT NECKLINE IS SMALLER AND FLOWERS ONLY HAVE FOUR PETALS. COLOURFUL FLORAL EMBROIDERY AT FRONT OF NECKLINE AND JUST ABOVE SLEEVE CUFFS. FLOWERS INCLUDE LARGE TWO TONE RED ROSES, TWO TONED PURPLE VIOLETS, AS WELL AS BLUE FLOWERS WITH YELLOW CENTRES, TWO TONED PINK FLOWERS, AND TWO TONED YELLOW FLOWERS. LOTS OF GREEN LEAVES THROUGHOUT. COLOURS INCLUDE MEDIUM AND DARK RED, MEDIUM BLUE, MEDIUM AND DARK GREEN, PINK, ORANGE, YELLOW, AND MEDIUM AND DARK PURPLE. L: 61.0CM W: 87.5CM OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. SLIGHT YELLOWING AROUND NECKLINE AND AT ARMPITS. SEAM HAS LET LOOSE UNDER WEARER’S RIGHT ARM. VERY SMALL DARK BROWN STAIN ON BACK, BELOW WEARER’S RIGHT ARM. .2: UNDER SKIRT. IVORY COLOURED, APPROXIMATELY KNEE LENGTH, WITH MACHINE-MADE LACE DETAILING ALONG HEM. CLOSES AT WAIST WITH TWO VERY LONG IVORY COLOURED TWILL TAPE TIES. GATHERED AT WAIST BAND, CREATING A FULL SKIRT. TWO PIECE SKIRT WITH SEAMS AT FRONT AND BACK. TIES ARE EACH APPROXIMATELY 137.0 CM LONG. L: 60.8CM W: 145.0CM (AT HEM) OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. DARK GREY LINE APPROXIMATELY 21.5 CM DOWN FROM WAISTBAND CIRCLES THE ENTIRE SKIRT. .3: OVER SKIRT. BURGUNDY, HEAVY, SILKY MATERIAL WITH A REPEATING SQUARE PATTERN WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC (PATTERN CONSISTS OF FOUR VERY SMALL SQUARES, WHICH MAKE UP A SLIGHTLY LARGE SQUARE, REPEATED IN A VERTICLE STRIPE). ACCORDION PLEATS MAKE FOR A VERY FULL SKIRT. THERE IS A 9.5 CM STRIP OF MACHINE-MADE, IVORY LACE APPROXIMATELY 18.7 CM UP FROM THE HEM. INSIDE OF SKIRT IS LINED WITH A PINK FLORAL PATTERNED SILKY FABRIC, APPROXIMATELY 18.0 CM UP FROM THE HEM. THIS PINK FLORAL PATTERNED MATERIAL IS ALSO VISIBLE FOR 2.4 CM ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE SKIRT AT THE HEM. SKIRT CLOSES AT WAIST WITH LONG BURGUNDY BIAS TAPE TIES, ONE OF WHICH IS 120.1 CM LONG, THE SECOND IS 135.5 CM LONG. WIDTH OF SKIRT IS MEASURED ALONG HEM. THE SKIRT IS 46.0 CM WIDE WITH THE PLEATS PRESSED CLOSELY TOGETHER. SKIRT IS 203.0 CM WIDE WHEN THE PLEATS ARE FLATTENED. L: 65.5CM W: 203.0CM OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. LACE HAS YELLOWED CONSIDERABLY. .4: VEST. IVORY COLOURED, CROPPED VEST, EMBROIDERED, WITH CROCHETED LACE DETAILS CLOSES AT FRONT WITH 6 SILVER COLOURED METAL SNAPS. FLOWER SHAPED CROCHET LACE DETAILING AROUND THE WHOLE VEST, EXCEPT AT THE CLOSURE, WHERE THERE IS DETAILING ON THE WEARER’S RIGHT SIDE ONLY. EACH OF THE LACE FLOWERS HAS FIVE PETALS. LARGE COLOURFUL FLORAL EMBROIDERY ALL OVER VEST. FLOWERS INCLUDE LARGE TWO TONE RED ROSES, TWO TONED PURPLE VIOLETS, AS WELL AS BLUE FLOWERS WITH YELLOW CENTRES, TWO TONED PINK FLOWERS, AND TWO TONED YELLOW FLOWERS. LOTS OF GREEN LEAVES THROUGHOUT. COLOURS INCLUDE MEDIUM AND DARK RED, MEDIUM BLUE, MEDIUM AND DARK GREEN, PINK, ORANGE, YELLOW, AND MEDIUM AND DARK PURPLE. VEST MAY HAVE BEEN MADE BIGGER AT ONE POINT: THERE IS A STRIP OF WHITER MATERIAL UNDER BOTH ARMS, EACH STRIP IS APPROXIMATELY 3.0CM WIDE, AT THE SIDE SEAMS. L: 47.5CM W: 57.5CM OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION. .5: APRON. IVORY COLOURED, EMBROIDERED, WITH CROCHETED LACE AND CUTWORK LACE DETAILING AROUND EDGE. SIDES AND BOTTOM OF APRON HAVE BOTH CUTWORK AND CROCHETED LACE DETAILING. THE CUTWORK LACE DETAILING IS COMPOSED OF TWO DIFFERENT FLOWERS, IN A REPEATING PATTERN. EACH OF THESE LARGE FLOWERS IS APPROXIMATELY 7.0 CM IN DIAMETER. BETWEEN THE LARGE FLOWERS ARE SQUARE SHAPED SECTIONS OF CROCHETED LACE. JUST INSIDE THE LACE DETAILING ARE 10 SECTIONS OF EMBROIDERED FLOWERS, MADE UP OF FIVE PAIRS OF FLOWERS. THE MAIN PORTION OF THE APRON IS ALSO EMBROIDERED, SHOWING FLOWERS INCLUDING TWO-TONED RED ROSES, TWO-TONED PURPLE VIOLETS, BLUE FLOWERS WITH YELLOW CENTRES, TWO-TONED PINK FLOWERS, AND TWO-TONED YELLOW FLOWERS. THERE ARE ALSO GROUPS OF PEPPERS OR POSSIBLY CARROTS (THEY ARE RED AND ORANGE). LOTS OF GREEN LEAVES THROUGHOUT. COLOURS INCLUDE MEDIUM AND DARK RED, MEDIUM BLUE, MEDIUM AND DARK GREEN, PINK, ORANGE, YELLOW, AND MEDIUM AND DARK PURPLE. WAIST TIES EACH HAVE A SMALL SECTION OF EMBROIDERY AND CROCHETED LACE. L: 56.0CM W: 119.5CM OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION. .6: CAP. IVORY COLOURED, EMBROIDERED. BRIMLESS. SCALLOPED EDGE ALONG WEARER’S FOREHEAD. GATHERED IN BACK WITH ELASTIC AT THE BASE OF THE NECK. COLOURFUL FLORAL EMBROIDERY ALL OVER CAP. FLOWERS INCLUDE LARGE TWO TONE RED ROSES, TWO TONED PURPLE VIOLETS, AS WELL AS BLUE FLOWERS WITH YELLOW CENTRES, TWO TONED PINK FLOWERS, AND TWO TONED YELLOW FLOWERS. LOTS OF GREEN LEAVES THROUGHOUT. COLOURS INCLUDE MEDIUM AND DARK RED, MEDIUM BLUE, MEDIUM AND DARK GREEN, PINK, ORANGE, YELLOW, AND MEDIUM AND DARK PURPLE. THERE ARE ALSO TWO SECTIONS OF BABY BLUE RIBBON: ONE NEAR THE FRONT OF THE HAT IS LONGER AND THE SECOND SECTION OF RIBBON MAKES A HORSESHOE SHAPE AT THE BACK OF THE HEAD. L: 24.0CM W: 28.2CM OVERALL IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. .7 SHOE. MANUFACTURED. LEFT SHOE. RED CORDUROY, SLIP ON, KITTEN HEEL, EMBROIDERED, MULE-STYLE SHOE, WITH ENCLOSED TOES. RED TOE PORTION OF SHOE HAS A BLUE FLOWER, WITH YELLOW CENTRE, EMBROIDERED. NEXT TO EMBROIDERY IS A WHITE POM-POM. INSOLE OF SHOE IS TAN COLOURED LEATHER, STAMPED AT THE HEEL WITH A GOLD STAMP: “MADE IN HUNGARY SZOMBATHELY.” EMBOSSED ON SOLE OF SHOE “270.” SOLE OF HEEL IS BLACK RUBBER AND SOLE OF TOE PORTION IS LEATHER. H: 7.0CM L: 27.7CM W: 8.7CM OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. SOLE IS WORN AT TOE, ESPECIALLY, WHERE THE LEATHER HAS WORN AWAY. GOLD STAMP ON INSOLE IS ALSO WORN AWAY. .8 SHOE. MANUFACTURED. RIGHT SHOE. RED CORDUROY, SLIP ON, KITTEN HEEL, EMBROIDERED, MULE-STYLE SHOE, WITH ENCLOSED TOES. RED TOE PORTION OF SHOE HAS AN EMBROIDERED BLUE FLOWER, WITH YELLOW CENTRE. NEXT TO EMBROIDERY IS A WHITE POM-POM. INSOLE OF SHOE IS TAN COLOURED LEATHER, STAMPED AT THE HEEL WITH A GOLD STAMP: “MADE IN HUNGARY SZOMBATHELY.” EMBOSSED ON SOLE OF SHOE “270.” SOLE OF HEEL IS BLACK RUBBER AND SOLE OF TOE PORTION IS LEATHER. H: 7.0CM L: 27.7CM W: 8.7CM OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. SOLE IS WORN AT TOE, ESPECIALLY, WHERE THE LEATHER HAS WORN AWAY. GOLD STAMP ON INSOLE IS ALSO WORN AWAY.
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A VARIETY OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR, MARIA JOKUTY, AND A BOOKLET ENTITLED “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY.” A DESCRIPTION OF MARIA’S EMBROIDERY AND SEWING WORK, THE HISTORY OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA, AND THE JOKUTY’S JOURNEY TO CANADA CAN BE FOUND BELOW THE HISTORY OF THE ARTIFACTS. MARIA MADE THIS COSTUME FOR HERSELF AND IS DONE IN THE STYLE OF THE KALOSCAI PROVINCE. IN AN INTERIVEW CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN DECEMBER 2015, MARIA SAID THAT THIS DRESS WAS BETTER THAN THE OTHERS “BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE THIS PART (POINTING TO MACHINE EMBROIDERY).” MARIA WOULD WEAR HER EMBROIDERED DRESS AT SPECIAL EVENTS: “WHEN WE HAD SPECIAL – EVEN WHEN WE HAD HERITAGE DAY – I DRESS UP. CANADA DAY. AND THEN WE USED TO HAVE [CELEBRATIONS] IN THE GALT GARDEN, YOU KNOW, MUSIC, DANCE, BUT I WEAR IT. BUT NOT DANCING OKAY, JUST PUT IT ON. AND MANY, MANY TIMES I DID. AND WE HAD DINNER AND DANCE – I PUT IT ON.” .2 UNDER SKIRT: MARIA SAID THAT THIS UNDER SKIRT GAVE FULLNESS TO THE OUTFIT: "YOU HAVE TO HAVE A FULLNESS. BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE JUST TOO PLAIN. BUT WHEN YOU HAVE THIS SKIRT, IT’S KIND OF FULL, YOU CAN SEE, AND IT’S 100% COTTON, AND THAT GIVES YOU KIND OF MORE FULLNESS AND YOU CAN SEE THE BEAUTY OF THE PLEATED SKIRT." .6 CAP: MARIA SAID ONLY MARRIED WOMEN WOULD WEAR THIS TYPE OF CAP: "SO THE GIRLS WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG, THEY WEARING THIS OUTFIT, OKAY. BUT THEN THE WOMEN, IF THEY GOT MARRIED, THEY HAVE TO WEAR A CAP! SO WHOEVER SEE YOU, 'OH, SHE’S MARRIED.' AND, BUT DON’T YOU THINK SHE’S BEAUTIFUL?” .7 & .8: SHOES: MARIA INDICATED THAT THE SHOES WERE PURCHASED IN HUNGARY AND THAT SHE DID NOT DO THE EMBROIDERY ON THE TOE: "THAT’S HOW WE BOUGHT IN HUNGARY. THEY MADE IT OVER THERE. WE WENT IN HUNGARY WITH MY HUSBAND I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PAIRS WE BOUGHT TO THE GIRLS. AND THE GIRLS, WHEN THEY WERE DANCING THEY HAVE ALL THE SAME PAIR OF DIFFERENT SIZES." MARIA BEGAN WORKING ON 16 DANCE OUTFITS IN 1977 AND IT TOOK HER “THREE-FOUR YEARS TO DO IT. BECAUSE YOU KNOW, I DESIGNED THE FLOWERS, AND THEN YOU KNOW THE EMBROIDERY, AND TO PUT IT TOGETHER WAS A VERY HARD JOB.” MAKING THE DANCE COSTUMES WAS IMPORTANT TO MARIA “BECAUSE [SHE] WAS PROUD OF BEING HUNGARIAN AND [SHE] WANTED TO SHOW SOMETHING DIFFERENT.” SHE LEARNED TO EMBROIDER AT THE AGE OF 12/13 FROM A NEIGHBOUR NAMED MARISSA IN HUNGARY. MARIA THINKS THAT MARISSA WAS ABOUT 25/26 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE TAUGHT MARIA HOW TO EMBROIDER. MARIA GETS A GREAT DEAL OF ENJOYMENT SEEING HER CREATIONS ON DANCERS WHILE THEY COMPETE: “VERY IMPORTANT. YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE ME. YOU PUT ALL ENERGY INTO IT TO BE ABLE TO FINISH IT AND THAT – BECAUSE HAPPINESS WAS WHEN THE GIRLS, THEY WAS DANCING ON A STAGE AND THEY’VE ALL GOT THE COSTUMES. YOU KNOW WHAT, WOW! YOU JUST CAN’T EX – I CAN’T EXPLAIN TO YOU.” MARIA GOT SOME OF HER PATTERNS FOR EMBROIDERY FROM THE EDMONTON HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY AND LATER RETURNED TO HUNGARY TO IMPROVE HER SKILLS, AS WELL AS TO LEARN HOW TO DO MACHINE EMBROIDERY. MARIA AND, AND HER HUSBAND, CHESTER, RETURNED TO HUNGARY ABOUT 3 TIMES, STAYING EACH TIME FOR ABOUT 2 MONTHS SO THAT MARIA COULD IMPROVE HER SKILLS. IN ADDITION TO CREATING THE COSTUMES, MARIA ALSO CARED FOR THEM, ENSURING THEY WERE AVAILABLE WHEN A DANCER WOULD NEED TO WEAR THEM: “YES, I WAS IN CHARGE. DRY CLEANING, WASHING, AND EVERYTHING. I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS, LONG YEARS UNTIL WE MOVED AND THEN WE DIDN’T HAVE NO ROOM, AND THEN SOMEBODY ELSE, YOU KNOW. AND THEN WE HAD A MEETING AND THE DANCERS, THEY WAS LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY ELSE WHO WOULD TAKE CARE OF THEM, ‘CAUSE YOU SHOULD’VE SEEN THE GIRLS THEY WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, “NO, MRS. JOKUTY, YOU TAKE GOOD CARE!” AND I DID.” ACCORDING TO CHESTER (GEZA) JOKUTY’S OBITUARY, CHESTER AND MARIA WERE MARRIED IN HUNGARY ON OCTOBER 3, 1949. CHESTER SERVED IN THE HUNGARIAN ARMY IN 1940, WAS TAKEN PRISONER BY THE RUSSIANS IN 1945, AND HELD PRISONER IN RUSSIA FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS. IN THE BOOKLET “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY” MARIA INDICATES THAT CHESTER WAS NOT KEEN TO REMAIN IN HUNGARY FOLLOWING THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, BECAUSE OF HIS TREATMENT AT THE HANDS OF THE RUSSIANS: CHESTER “SPENT THREE AND A HALF YEARS AS A P.O.W. IN ODESSA WHERE PRISONERS WERE USED AS SLAVE LABOUR. CHESTER WAS NOT A BIG MAN AND BECAUSE OF THE CONDITIONS, WAS EXTREMELY WEAK. DURING THIS TIME IF THE PRISONERS WERE NOT ABLE TO KEEP UP OR DO WHAT WAS REQUIRED OF THEM, THE RUSSIAN GUARDS SENT THEIR DOGS IN TO FORCE THE PRISONERS TO MOVE. HE HAD WITNESSED SO MUCH DEATH AND SUFFERING AND HAD SUFFERED SO BADLY IN THE COLD, AT THE HANDS OF THE RUSSIAN SOLDIERS, HE VOWED NEVER TO BE TAKEN BY THEM AGAIN.” MARIA CONTINUED IN THIS BOOKLET TO RECOUNT THEIR DECISION TO LEAVE HUNGARY: “SO, ON NOVEMBER 4TH [1956], WE DECIDED WE WOULD LEAVE … SO WE GATHERED OUR FAMILY AND MY MOTHER AND BEGAN WALKING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TOWARDS AUSTRIA – ONLY ABOUT AN HOUR’S WALK FROM WHERE WE LIVED.” THE JOKUTY FAMILY REMAINED IN AUSTRIA FOR 6 MONTHS, WHERE MARIA RECALLS BEING WELL TREATED. THEY LEFT AUSTRIA AND ARRIVED IN ST. JOHN, NB AFTER A 12 DAY CROSSING, ON APRIL 22, 1957. AFTER A LONG TRAIN RIDE, THEY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. SHORTLY AFTER THEIR ARRIVAL THEY BEGAN WORK AS FARM LABOURERS IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS. AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON OCTOBER 29, 1979 HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION: “DESCRIBED SIMPLY, THE REVOLUTION ESTABLISHED A GOVERNMENT THAT TRIED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE SOVIET UNION’S INFLUENCE. THE SOVIET UNION, SUBSEQUENTLY, SENT ARMED TROOPS INTO HUNGARY TO REASSERT ITS INFLUENCE. IN THE AFTERMATH, MANY PEOPLE FLED, ABOUT 37,000 TO CANADA ACCORDING TO FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND IMMIGRATION STATISTICS … CHESTER JOKUTY OF THE ASSOCIATION SAID ABOUT 2,000 PERSONS OF HUNGARIAN ORIGINS LIVE IN LETHBRIDGE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA.” MARIA INDICATED SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH THE COURSE OF HER INTERVIEW THAT LIFE WAS VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE JOKUTY FAMILY WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. THE FAMILY’S FIRST ACCOMMODATIONS LEFT LITTLE TO BE DESIRED: “WE DIDN’T HAVE RUNNING WATER, TOILET, WE HAVE TO PULL THE WATER FROM THINGS, YOU KNOW, AND CHOP THE WOOD TO MAKE BREAKFAST. AND WINTERTIME, WE WAS SCARED TO DEATH THAT KIDS, WE’LL FREEZE TO DEATH. SOMETIMES I HAVE TO STAY UP, OR MY HUSBAND DID TO BE SURE THE WOOD, YOU KNOW THE STOVE IN THE KITCHEN – ONLY THING – THAT GIVE US A LITTLE BIT WARMTH. IT WAS VERY, VERY HARD.” MARIA RECALLS HAVING TO HITCH HIKE TO GET GROCERIES AND RELIED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS TO GET HOME AGAIN: “AND NO CAR. YOU KNOW WHAT I DID? WE WAS SO HUNGRY, SO I SAID I HAVE TO TAKE A CHANCE. MY HUSBAND WAS WORKING AND KIDS WAS IN MCNALLY SCHOOL AND THEN I WENT ON THE ROAD, PUT MY HAND UP, AND WHATEVER HAPPENED, HAPPENED ... THEY DROP ME ON 5TH AVENUE SOMEWHERE, OR SAFEWAY, THEY DROP ME OVER THERE, BUT I HEARD THAT LOTS OF HUNGARIAN BACHELORS AND PEOPLE GO TO THE GARDEN HOTEL DRINKING BEER. SO WHEN I WENT OVER THERE, I COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, SO THEN I LISTENED TO THE LANGUAGES WHERE I HEAR THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGES. SO THEN I HEARD IT, AND I WENT AND I INTRODUCED MYSELF, WHO I AM, AND, “WE ARE ON THE SUGAR BEETS SOWING, WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP US? I NEED A GROCERY, WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP US …?” AND THEY FIND US SOMEBODY WHO WAS DRIVING, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE NAME, WHAT THE NAME WAS, BECAUSE LONG TIME AGO, THEY GOT MY GROCERY IN THE CAR AND TOOK ME TO THE FARM FREE. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I WISH I COULD GIVE HIM A BIG HUG AND THANKFUL.” CHESTER’S OBITUARY INDICATES THAT HE “WAS A VERY PROUD HUNGARIAN AND A FOUNDING LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA IN 1977 AND SERVED AS PRESIDENT FOR TEN YEARS. HE ALSO WAS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA ETHNIC ASSOCIATION IN 1977.” IN A HERALD ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 14, 1989, MARGARET GUGYELKA (SECRETARY OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY) INDICATED THAT THE SOCIETY STARTED IN 1977: “’THERE WAS AN OLDTIMERS’ GROUP BEFORE THAT, BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE A FRATERNITY … THE SOCIETY WAS STARTED BY A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO CARRY ON HUNGARIAN TRADITIONS.’” AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2, 1983 INDICATES THAT THE SOCIETY ALSO PARTICIPATED IN THE WESTERN CANADIAN HUNGARIAN FOLK DANCE FESTIVAL. IN THE ARTICLE, CHESTER SAID THAT THE “FESTIVAL IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT RATHER AN EVENT DESIGNED TO KEEP CULTURAL HERITAGE ALIVE AND DANCE GROUPS IN TOUCH … JOKUTY SAYS HUNGARIAN DANCING HAS PROVEN ‘VERY, VERY POPULAR’ BECAUSE OF THE VARIETY OF DANCES – 46 IN ALL OF AT THE 1982 FESTIVAL HELD IN LETHBRIDGE – AND THE COLOURFUL COSTUMES UNIQUE TO EACH PROVINCE. THE COSTUMES HAVE PROVEN TO BE A BIG EXPENSE FOR THE SOCIETY SINCE ONE OUTFIT CAN COST UP TO $600 TO MAKE. MADE TO MEASURE BOOTS FROM MONTREAL ARE AS MUCH AS $150.” MARIA LAMENTS THAT THE SOCIETY ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE. SHE EXPLAINED THAT THERE SIMPLY ISN’T THE VOLUNTEER LABOUR FORCE TO CONTINUE DOING ALL THAT THE SOCIETY USED TO: “WHEN WE USED TO MAKE – EVERY YEAR BEFORE CHRISTMAS WE USED TO MAKE FOUR THOUSAND, FIVE THOUSAND CABBAGE ROLLS AND WE ADVERTISE, WE LET THE PEOPLE KNOW YOU HAVE TO PUT THE NAME AHEAD AND YOU HAVE TO COME PICK. ALL DAY WE WAS WORKING, BUT FIVE O’CLOCK, SIX O’CLOCK PEOPLE CAME AND TAKE [THE CABBAGE ROLLS] BECAUSE WE USED TO HAVE IT IN A BILL KERGAN CENTER, AND OVER THERE IS WALK-IN COLDER. BUT NOW, THIS YEAR [2015], NO CABBAGE ROLLS AND PEOPLE ARE DISAPPOINTED, BUT WE DON’T HAVE NO VOLUNTEERS. YOU KNOW, GOLDEN YEARS CATCH UP WITH PEOPLE.” SEE PERMANENT RECORD FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, THE BOOKLET ENTITLED “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY" AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW.
Catalogue Number
P20150038001
Acquisition Date
2015-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1977
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150038002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1977
Date Range To
2000
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
5
Length
68.9
Width
106.5
Description
MEZOSEGI STYLE OF DRESS. .1: BLOUSE. MANUFACTURED. WHITE, THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SLEEVE, BUTTON-UP, TRIMMED IN LACE. BAND COLLAR, TRIMMED WITH A THIN BAND OF WHITE LACE. SLEEVES HEMMED WITH TWO RUFFLES OF WHITE LACE AND EACH BAND OF LACE IS 12.5 CM WIDE. BLOUSE CLOSES IN THE FRONT WITH 5 BUTTONS. PLACKET TRIMMED WITH THE SAME LACE FOUND AT THE COLLAR. REMNANTS OF A BLACK LABEL FOUND AT THE BACK OF NECK, INSIDE BLOUSE. L: 68.9CM W: 106.5CM OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION. .2: UNDERSKIRT. HANDMADE. IVORY COLOURED, APPROXIMATELY KNEE LENGTH, WITH MACHINE-MADE LACE DETAILING ALONG HEM. CLOSES AT WAIST WITH TWO VERY LONG IVORY COLOURED BIAS TAPE TIES, ONE OF WHICH IS 109.0 CM LONG, THE OTHER IS 136.0 CM LONG. TO INCREASE FULLNESS OF THE UNDERSKIRT, THERE IS A 27.5 CM WIDE RUFFLE ALONG THE BOTTOM OF THE SKIRT. THIS RUFFLE AND THE HEM LINE ARE BOTH TRIMMED IN A FLORAL PATTERNED LACE. L: 56.2CM W: 87.7CM OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. LACE TRIM HAS COME UNDONE AT THE FRONT OF THE SKIRT, ON THE UPPER RUFFLE AND ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER RUFFLE. .3: VEST. HANDMADE. PINK AND YELLOW FLOWERS WITH GREENERY ON MAROON BACKGROUND, CLOSES IN FRONT WITH BLACK VELCRO, CROPPED LENGTH. TRIMMED WITH PINK CREPE AROUND NECKLINE AND AROUND ARMS. BAND OF PINK CREPE AROUND EACH SHOULDER STRAP, CREATING A SLIGHT SWEETHEART NECKLINE. THE SAME PINK CREPE IS ON THE INSIDE OF THE VEST AT THE HEM. L: 46.0CM W: 48.2CM OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION. .4: OVERSKIRT. HANDMADE. PINK AND YELLOW FLOWERS WITH GREENERY ON MAROON BACKGROUND, SEVERAL STRIPS OF FABRIC OR RIBBON ALONG HEMLINE OF SKIRT. ACCORDION PLEATS MAKE FOR A VERY FULL SKIRT. CLOSES AT WAIST WITH WHITE VELCRO AND MAROON BIAS TAPE TIES, ONE OF WHICH IS 91.5 CM LONG, THE OTHER IS 92.5 CM LONG. STRIPES OF FABRIC OR RIBBON START 24.0 CM FROM BOTTOM OF SKIRT. THE FIRST STRIP IS MADE OF YELLOW SATIN FABRIC, THEN A THIN SECTION OF THE SKIRT FABRIC. NEXT IS A 10.7 CM WIDE STRIP OF PINK: A THIN SATIN RIBBON OF LIGHT PINK IS SEWN ONTO THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF A PIECE OF DARKER PINK CREPE, MUCH LIKE THAT FOUND ON THE TRIM OF THE VEST (P20150038002.3). BELOW THE TWO-TONED PINK STRIPE IS ANOTHER STRIP OF SKIRT FABRIC. THEN THERE IS A STRIP OF YELLOW SATIN RIBBON, BABY BLUE SATIN RIBBON, AND FINALLY AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE HEMLINE, A STRIP OF RED SATIN RIBBON. WIDTH OF SKIRT IS MEASURED ALONG HEM. THE SKIRT IS 69.0 CM WIDE WITH THE PLEATS PRESSED CLOSELY TOGETHER. SKIRT IS 287.5 CM WIDE WHEN THE PLEATS ARE FLATTENED. L: 65.0CM W: 287.5CM OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION. .5 APRON. HANDMADE. WHITE, EYELET LACE, COTTON, TWO VERTICAL RIBBON STRIPS ON FRONT. THREE PANEL CONSTRUCTION. FLORAL PATTERNED EYELET LACE, WITH MORE FLOWERS TOWARDS THE HEMLINE OF THE APRON. CENTRE PANEL IS SOLID FABRIC AT THE WAISTBAND. SIDE PANELS ARE EYELET LACE. SIDES AND BOTTOM OF APRON HAVE A SCALLOPED CUTOUT LACE EDGING. VERTICAL STRIPS ARE WHITE RIBBON WITH MACHINE EMBROIDERED RED ROSES. WAISTBAND TIES HAVE SAME EYELET LACE AND SCALLOPING. L:53.2CM W: 185.0CM OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. YELLOW STAINING ON FRONT OF APRON BETWEEN THE TWO VERTICAL STRIPES, AS WELL AS ON THE WEARER’S LEFT SIDE, TOWARDS THE HEMLINE.
Subjects
CLOTHING-OUTERWEAR
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A VARIETY OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR, MARIA JOKUTY, CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN DECEMBER 2015, AND A BOOKLET ENTITLED “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY.” A DESCRIPTION OF MARIA’S EMBROIDERY AND SEWING WORK, THE HISTORY OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA, AND THE JOKUTY’S JOURNEY TO CANADA CAN BE FOUND BELOW THE HISTORY OF THE ARTIFACTS. .1: BLOUSE. MARIA INDICATED THAT THIS ITEM OF CLOTHING IS THE ONLY ONE THAT SHE DIDN'T MAKE HERSELF. SHE DID ADD THE LACE RUFFLE TO THE SLEEVE. .4: OVER SKIRT. MARIA INDICATED IN HER INTERVIEW THAT THE PLEATING ALLOWED THE SKIRT TO FLARE WHEN THE DANCER SPINS: "THE SKIRT, WHEN YOU DANCE WITH THE SKIRT, WHEN YOU SPIN, THE GIRL SPINNING, YOU KNOW, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. BECAUSE THIS IS ALSO EVERYTHING HOMEMADE. I MADE IT, OKAY, AND SENT IT TO MONTREAL FOR SPECIAL PRESSING, YOU KNOW, BUT LOOK AT THAT.” MARIA BEGAN WORKING ON THIS OUTFIT (AND 15 OTHER DANCE OUTFITS) IN 1977 AND IT TOOK HER “THREE-FOUR YEARS TO DO IT. YOU KNOW, I DESIGNED THE FLOWERS, AND THEN YOU KNOW THE EMBROIDERY, AND TO PUT IT TOGETHER WAS A VERY HARD JOB.” MAKING THE DANCE COSTUMES WAS IMPORTANT TO MARIA “BECAUSE [SHE] WAS PROUD OF BEING HUNGARIAN AND [SHE] WANTED TO SHOW SOMETHING DIFFERENT.” SHE LEARNED TO EMBROIDER AT THE AGE OF 12/13 FROM A NEIGHBOUR NAMED MARISSA IN HUNGARY. MARIA THINKS THAT MARISSA WAS ABOUT 25/26 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE TAUGHT MARIA HOW TO EMBROIDER. MARIA GETS A GREAT DEAL OF ENJOYMENT SEEING HER CREATIONS ON DANCERS WHILE THEY COMPETE: “VERY IMPORTANT. YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE ME. YOU PUT ALL ENERGY INTO IT TO BE ABLE TO FINISH IT AND THAT – BECAUSE HAPPINESS WAS WHEN THE GIRLS, THEY WAS DANCING ON A STAGE AND THEY’VE ALL GOT THE COSTUMES. YOU KNOW WHAT, WOW! YOU JUST CAN’T EX – I CAN’T EXPLAIN TO YOU.” MARIA GOT SOME OF HER PATTERNS FOR EMBROIDERY FROM THE EDMONTON HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY AND LATER RETURNED TO HUNGARY TO IMPROVE HER SKILLS, AS WELL AS TO LEARN HOW TO DO MACHINE EMBROIDERY. MARIA AND HER HUSBAND, CHESTER, RETURNED TO HUNGARY ABOUT 3 TIMES, STAYING EACH TIME FOR ABOUT 2 MONTHS SO THAT MARIA COULD IMPROVE HER SKILLS. IN ADDITION TO CREATING THE COSTUMES, MARIA ALSO CARED FOR THEM, ENSURING THEY WERE AVAILABLE WHEN A DANCER WOULD NEED TO WEAR THEM: “YES, I WAS IN CHARGE. DRY CLEANING, WASHING, AND EVERYTHING. I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS, LONG YEARS UNTIL WE MOVED AND THEN WE DIDN’T HAVE NO ROOM, AND THEN SOMEBODY ELSE, YOU KNOW. AND THEN WE HAD A MEETING AND THE DANCERS, THEY WAS LOOKING FOR SOMEBODY ELSE WHO WOULD TAKE CARE OF THEM, ‘CAUSE YOU SHOULD’VE SEEN THE GIRLS THEY WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, “NO, MRS. JOKUTY, YOU TAKE GOOD CARE!” AND I DID.” ACCORDING TO CHESTER (GEZA) JOKUTY’S OBITUARY, CHESTER AND MARIA WERE MARRIED IN HUNGARY ON OCTOBER 3, 1949. CHESTER SERVED IN THE HUNGARIAN ARMY IN 1940, WAS TAKEN PRISONER BY THE RUSSIANS IN 1945, AND HELD PRISONER IN RUSSIA FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS. IN THE BOOKLET “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY” MARIA INDICATES THAT CHESTER WAS NOT KEEN TO REMAIN IN HUNGARY FOLLOWING THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, BECAUSE OF HIS TREATMENT AT THE HANDS OF THE RUSSIANS: CHESTER “SPENT THREE AND A HALF YEARS AS A P.O.W. IN ODESSA WHERE PRISONERS WERE USED AS SLAVE LABOUR. CHESTER WAS NOT A BIG MAN AND BECAUSE OF THE CONDITIONS, WAS EXTREMELY WEAK. DURING THIS TIME IF THE PRISONERS WERE NOT ABLE TO KEEP UP OR DO WHAT WAS REQUIRED OF THEM, THE RUSSIAN GUARDS SENT THEIR DOGS IN TO FORCE THE PRISONERS TO MOVE. HE HAD WITNESSED SO MUCH DEATH AND SUFFERING AND HAD SUFFERED SO BADLY IN THE COLD, AT THE HANDS OF THE RUSSIAN SOLDIERS, HE VOWED NEVER TO BE TAKEN BY THEM AGAIN.” MARIA CONTINUED IN THIS BOOKLET TO RECOUNT THEIR DECISION TO LEAVE HUNGARY: “SO, ON NOVEMBER 4TH [1956], WE DECIDED WE WOULD LEAVE … SO WE GATHERED OUR FAMILY AND MY MOTHER AND BEGAN WALKING AS FAST AS POSSIBLE TOWARDS AUSTRIA – ONLY ABOUT AN HOUR’S WALK FROM WHERE WE LIVED.” THE JOKUTY FAMILY REMAINED IN AUSTRIA FOR 6 MONTHS, WHERE MARIA RECALLS BEING WELL TREATED. THEY LEFT AUSTRIA AND ARRIVED IN ST. JOHN, NB AFTER A 12 DAY CROSSING, ON APRIL 22, 1957. AFTER A LONG TRAIN RIDE, THEY ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. SHORTLY AFTER THEIR ARRIVAL THEY BEGAN WORK AS FARM LABOURERS IN THE SUGAR BEET FIELDS. AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ON OCTOBER 29, 1979 HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION: “DESCRIBED SIMPLY, THE REVOLUTION ESTABLISHED A GOVERNMENT THAT TRIED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE SOVIET UNION’S INFLUENCE. THE SOVIET UNION, SUBSEQUENTLY, SENT ARMED TROOPS INTO HUNGARY TO REASSERT ITS INFLUENCE. IN THE AFTERMATH, MANY PEOPLE FLED, ABOUT 37,000 TO CANADA ACCORDING TO FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND IMMIGRATION STATISTICS … CHESTER JOKUTY OF THE ASSOCIATION SAID ABOUT 2,000 PERSONS OF HUNGARIAN ORIGINS LIVE IN LETHBRIDGE AND THE SURROUNDING AREA.” MARIA INDICATED SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH THE COURSE OF HER INTERVIEW THAT LIFE WAS VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE JOKUTY FAMILY WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED IN LETHBRIDGE. THE FAMILY’S FIRST ACCOMMODATIONS LEFT LITTLE TO BE DESIRED: “WE DIDN’T HAVE RUNNING WATER, TOILET, WE HAVE TO PULL THE WATER FROM THINGS, YOU KNOW, AND CHOP THE WOOD TO MAKE BREAKFAST. AND WINTERTIME, WE WAS SCARED TO DEATH THAT KIDS, WE’LL FREEZE TO DEATH. SOMETIMES I HAVE TO STAY UP, OR MY HUSBAND DID TO BE SURE THE WOOD, YOU KNOW THE STOVE IN THE KITCHEN – ONLY THING – THAT GIVE US A LITTLE BIT WARMTH. IT WAS VERY, VERY HARD.” MARIA RECALLS HAVING TO HITCH HIKE TO GET GROCERIES AND RELIED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS TO GET HOME AGAIN: “AND NO CAR. YOU KNOW WHAT I DID? WE WAS SO HUNGRY, SO I SAID I HAVE TO TAKE A CHANCE. MY HUSBAND WAS WORKING AND KIDS WAS IN MCNALLY SCHOOL AND THEN I WENT ON THE ROAD, PUT MY HAND UP, AND WHATEVER HAPPENED, HAPPENED. SO THEY DROP ME ON 5TH AVENUE SOMEWHERE, OR SAFEWAY, THEY DROP ME OVER THERE, BUT I HEARD THAT LOTS OF HUNGARIAN BACHELORS AND PEOPLE GO TO THE GARDEN HOTEL DRINKING BEER. SO WHEN I WENT OVER THERE, I COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, SO THEN I LISTENED TO THE LANGUAGES WHERE I HEAR THE HUNGARIAN LANGUAGES. SO THEN I HEARD IT, AND I WENT AND I INTRODUCED MYSELF, WHO I AM, AND, “WE ARE ON THE SUGAR BEETS SOWING, WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP US? I NEED A GROCERY, WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP US …?” AND THEY FIND US SOMEBODY WHO WAS DRIVING, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE NAME, WHAT THE NAME WAS, BECAUSE LONG TIME AGO, THEY GOT MY GROCERY IN THE CAR AND TOOK ME TO THE FARM FREE. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I WISH I COULD GIVE HIM A BIG HUG AND THANKFUL.” CHESTER’S OBITUARY INDICATES THAT HE “WAS A VERY PROUD HUNGARIAN AND A FOUNDING LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA IN 1977 AND SERVED AS PRESIDENT FOR TEN YEARS. HE ALSO WAS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA ETHNIC ASSOCIATION IN 1977.” IN A HERALD ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 14, 1989, MARGARET GUGYELKA (SECRETARY OF THE HUNGARIAN CULTURAL SOCIETY) INDICATED THAT THE SOCIETY STARTED IN 1977: “’THERE WAS AN OLDTIMERS’ GROUP BEFORE THAT, BUT IT WAS MORE LIKE A FRATERNITY … THE SOCIETY WAS STARTED BY A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO CARRY ON HUNGARIAN TRADITIONS.’” AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2, 1983 INDICATES THAT THE SOCIETY ALSO PARTICIPATED IN THE WESTERN CANADIAN HUNGARIAN FOLK DANCE FESTIVAL. IN THE ARTICLE, CHESTER SAID THAT THE “FESTIVAL IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT RATHER AN EVENT DESIGNED TO KEEP CULTURAL HERITAGE ALIVE AND DANCE GROUPS IN TOUCH … JOKUTY SAYS HUNGARIAN DANCING HAS PROVEN ‘VERY, VERY POPULAR’ BECAUSE OF THE VARIETY OF DANCES – 46 IN ALL OF AT THE 1982 FESTIVAL HELD IN LETHBRIDGE – AND THE COLOURFUL COSTUMES UNIQUE TO EACH PROVINCE. THE COSTUMES HAVE PROVEN TO BE A BIG EXPENSE FOR THE SOCIETY SINCE ONE OUTFIT CAN COST UP TO $600 TO MAKE. MADE TO MEASURE BOOTS FROM MONTREAL ARE AS MUCH AS $150.” MARIA LAMENTS THAT THE SOCIETY ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE. SHE EXPLAINED THAT THERE SIMPLY ISN’T THE VOLUNTEER LABOUR FORCE TO CONTINUE DOING ALL THAT THE SOCIETY USED TO: “WHEN WE USED TO MAKE – EVERY YEAR BEFORE CHRISTMAS WE USED TO MAKE FOUR THOUSAND, FIVE THOUSAND CABBAGE ROLLS AND WE ADVERTISE, WE LET THE PEOPLE KNOW YOU HAVE TO PUT THE NAME AHEAD AND YOU HAVE TO COME PICK. ALL DAY WE WAS WORKING, BUT FIVE O’CLOCK, SIX O’CLOCK PEOPLE CAME AND TAKE [THE CABBAGE ROLLS] BECAUSE WE USED TO HAVE IT IN A BILL KERGAN CENTER, AND OVER THERE IS WALK-IN COOLER.. BUT NOW, THIS YEAR [2015], NO CABBAGE ROLLS AND PEOPLE ARE DISAPPOINTED, BUT WE DON’T HAVE NO VOLUNTEERS. YOU KNOW, GOLDEN YEARS CATCH UP WITH PEOPLE.” SEE PERMANENT RECORD FOR COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, THE BOOKLET ENTITLED “REMEMBRANCES OF OUR JOURNEY" AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW.
Catalogue Number
P20150038002
Acquisition Date
2015-12
Collection
Museum
Images
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