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Nov 6, 2023
A cultural intersection of creative restoration and beautification between Mennonite communities and women of the Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation is on display at the University of Saskatchewan.
Among the Anishinaabe women of Manitoba is the practice of repurposing fabrics into braided rugs, dating back to times when women and children from the tribes would visit and interact with Mennonite villages.
Meanwhile, the Mennonite women of Manitoba sought individuality and beauty by bringing the outside world inside through floor paintings.
Artist Margruite Krahn recognizes these practices in her own rendition of the patterned floors. Her collaboration and research on Anishinaabe rug making is part of her wider collection on the Mennonite practice. Both are features of the exhibition, “Resurfacing: Mennonite Floor Patterns,” which is on display now at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre at the U of S.
“There was a need for beauty and a need to be able to express it,” Krahn said. “They were bringing their gardens indoors.”