Dress and address: First nations self-fashioning and the 1860 royal tour of Canada
Western colonialism, in its global engagements with indigenous forms of visual representation, was possessed both of a monolithic sameness and an infinite variety of local resonances. The missionaries, traders, government agents, soldiers, travellers and settlers who worked to impose a new order were universalists whose agendas for and responses to indigenous peoples were remarkably homogeneous, despite the variety of climates and cultures in which they intervened. This book focuses on local processes of negotiation and response to the new materials, styles and norms of dress introduced to indigenous peoples in the Pacific. The topic is equally central and important for students of colonialism and indigenous art in North America, where dress has been a key site for the visual expression of individual and collective identities since pre-contact times. I offer this case study of the role of dress in the Great Lakes region as a way of revealing both the commonalities that underlay colonial processes during the 19th century and the specificities that mark local engagements.