By looking at a museum artifact as an object worthy of biography, in which agency is suggested by its impact on people associated with it, we are able to outline its role as an implement of social construction. The Pierre Bruce violin is situated first in the detailed historical context of Métis ethnogenesis, mobility, changing land use practices, and genealogy. Following multiple generations of the Bruce family as the owners of this violin, we can begin to understand its transformative role in the Canadian Northwest as it moved from the mobility of the fur trade and buffalo hunt to the agricultural settings at Red River and Harperville, Manitoba.

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