"Mandela's Sash"

bob rock bobrockproductions at INET2000.COM
Wed Mar 3 22:11:05 UTC 1999

Dear Mike:

Tansi!  I'm glad you found the article/review interesting.  Yes, the
security people around Mandela just about flipped their wigs at that
one.  Senator Boucher was only supposed to hand the sash to Mandela and
step back but he knew what the national/international implications could
be if he wrapped that Metis sash around the waist of this great
statesman.  The Senator asked Mandela for his permission to proceed and
Mandela gladly acquiesced.  Yes, this book is about far more than just
this Metis sash event--although that in itself is important.  It looks
back on the Senator's more than 40 years of Metis activism.  It looks at
little know Metis oral history from along the St. Louis-Batoche-Fish
Creek-Duck Lake corridor.  It looks at generations of lies and upheaval
and boken promises that the Metis and Indian people have suffered-and
still suffer at the hands of the Federal Government.

Mike Cleven wrote:
> The story about Mandela receiving a Metis sash was genuinely interesting,
> and went completely unreported in the mainstream media (as can only be
> expected).  That you appear to have been banned from the banquet because of
> your impetuous disregard for government-authorized protocol speaks volumes
> about Canada - just as much about the elite disregard for the non-elite as
> about white/aboriginal politics/tensions.
> I wanted to mention that the Metis sash of the sort you mention is known in
> the Jargon as "lasanjel".  Is this also a Michif word?

Well Mike, I looked up "lasengel" in THE MICHIF DICTIONARY: TURTLE
MOUNTAIN CHIPPEWA CREE  by Patline Laverdure and Ida Rose Allard (edited
by John C. Crawford).  Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications, 1983.

There was no listing for "lasengel."  And under "sash"--it reads

I have not heard the term "lasengel" before now.

Certainly it is of
> Metis origin, and must be part of the Metis dialect of French.  The attire
> of the fur company employees - the lasanjel, tuque (or turban), and
> loose-fitting shirt and hide leggings - was mentioned in a recent article
> in some American magazine

Do you recall the name of that magazine?  And the edition that this
article was in.  I'd sure like to read it.

as having spread throughout Native America as a
> fashion among many tribes, from the Choctaw and Apache through to the
> various Californian and Plateau peoples.....

Very interesting.  Thanks again Mike!

All the best,


> Mike Cleven
> ironmtn at bigfoot.com
> http://members.home.net/ironmtn/
> The thunderbolt steers all things.
>                            - Herakleitos

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