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Object Record

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Collection Fort Nisqually Permanent Collection
Object ID Number 1944.01.09a - j
Object Name Box
Description 1944.01.09a: Round box with lid, identified as a cheese box. No hinges. The lid has many scratches on the top, the largest in the shape of an "x" going across the whole surface. There is a band going around the lid, which is secured with small nails. No paint. The lid measures 6 5/8 inches in diameter and has a depth of 1 inch; the box 6 3/8 inches in diameter, and has a depth of 2 3/8 inches. Inside it holds the pouches of vermilion.
1944.01.09b - j: Nine deerskin pouches of powdered paint, including vermilion. There are a variety of colors, but five of the pouches are wrapped with paper and four are closed at the top. Three of the closed pouches are tied with string, and one was closed by tightly wrapping the top with a leather thong. Vermilion was used as body paint by many Native Americans in the 19th century.
Edward Huggins remarks on this paint in a letter to pioneer historian C.B. Bagley, April 19, 1905: "We have a lot of this vermilion on hand today. A bag full, which was found amongst Mrs. Work's (the old lady) effects, done up in little Cheveril skin bags, already (sic) for trading with Indians. This was given to my wife".
Josette Legace Work was Edward Huggins' mother-in-law, the "old lady" he references in this letter. She was half French Canadian and half Native American, and lived at Fort Victoria for many years with her husband, John Work, a prominent officer with the Hudson's Bay Company.
Date Mid-19th century
People Huggins, Edward
Work, Josette Legace
Search Terms Vermilion
Trade Goods
Imagefile 001\19440109a j.JPG