SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Ovide de Montigny

Ovide de Montigny was a French-Canadian fur trapper active in the Pacific Northwest from 1811 to 1822. de Montigny was hired by Alexander McKay at Montreal in July 1810. McKay and Wilson Price Hunt were in the city recruiting men experienced in the fur trade for the Pacific Fur Company; this established fur trading venture was funded by German-American merchant John Jacob Astor. The PFC had a notably diverse workforce; the majority were British subjects of several different cultural backgrounds. The other company partners were either Scottish or American. French-Canadians served as voyageurs and trappers, with a number of Iroquois working in these vital roles as well; the remaining employees were Americans, Anglo-Canadian, British, or Hawaiian Kanakas. de Montigny accompanied the other hired employees and McKay in August and traveled to New York City. Once there, the men waited to sail on aboard the Tonquin. After the ship sailed past Cape Horn, it landed at the Kingdom of Hawaii and hired 24 Hawaiian Kanakas.

The Columbia River was reached by the ship reached the Columbia River in March 1811. In the middle of April, de Montigny and his fellow PFC employees began work on what would become Fort Astoria. Reports from near by Chinookan peoples made the management aware of fellow fur traders were operating a trading post in the Pacific Northwest interior; this would turn out to be the North West Company and its stations in New Caledonia. On 2 May 1811, McKay led a small party that included Robert Stuart, Gabriel Franchère and de Montigny up the Columbia River to investigate these claims, they were accompanied by a Clatsop noble, who had developed ties with Fort Astoria and would guide the party. The party passed Tongue Point and passed the night at Coalpo's village, "Wahkaykum." On the 4th of May, de Montigny and Mackay explored the Cowlitz River with Coalpo. While on the river, they encountered a large canoe force of Cowlitz warriors. McKay was able to create amicable relations. Members of the Cowlitz leadership explained they were in the middle of strife with a Chinookan Skilloot village nearby.

Continuing up the Columbia, the party met the prominent Multnomah Chinookan noble Kiesno. The Multonomah headman had married another daughter of Comcomly. Afterwards they passed the mouth of the Willamette River, an area described by the Clatsop as full of game and hide bearing animals. On 10 May, the party reached the rapids controlled by various Wasco and Wishram villages which included Celilo Falls. Coalpo would not go further than the borderlands of these people, informing McKay that the Wishram and Wascoes if allowed to would kill him; this was due to a prior military campaign he commanded that destroyed a major settlement in the area. Content to see that the rumored NWC station wasn't at the important fishery, McKay led the party back to Fort Astoria and arrived on the 14 May. Late in June 1811, he and three men were sent to Youngs Bay to collect tree bark in large quantities; the material was used for siding and roofing for the structures of Fort Astoria. de Montigney and the men returned several days having not found a satisfactory source of bark.

Shortly before the Tonquin departed to trade with various Indigenous nations on Vancouver Island in June 1811, McKay selected Montingny to accompany him. Montingny however declined. After Jonathan Thorn insulted an elder Tla-o-qui-aht man by slapping him in the face with a beaver pelt, the Tonquin was destroyed; the only known survivor of the crew was the Quinault interpreter Joseachal, who arrived back at Fort Astoria through assistance of prominent Lower Chinookan noble Comcomly. de Montigny was among the PFC employees dispatched into the interior to establish Fort Okanogan. It was here he remained. De Montigny worked in various capacities for the NWC in the region until it was in turn merged into the Hudson's Bay Company

Pashmina

Pashmina is a fine type of cashmere wool. The textiles made from it were first woven in Kashmir; the name comes from Persian: پشمینه‎ / pašmina, meaning "made from wool". Pashmina came to be known as'cashmere' in the West because Europeans first encountered this fibre in Kashmir; the wool comes from a number of different breeds of the cashmere goat. Shawls called shahmina are made from this material in Kashmir and Nepal. Woven shawls in India have been worn as early as the Indus Valley Civilisation. A famous example is the statue of a priest-king found at Mohenjo-Daro, draped in a shawl decorated with trefoil patterns. Woolen shawls made in Kashmir are mentioned in Afghan texts between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. However, the founder of the pashmina industry is traditionally held to be the 15th century ruler of Kashmir, Zayn-ul-Abidin, who introduced weavers from Central Asia. Other sources consider pashmina crafts were introduced by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani who, as tradition has it, arrived to Kashmir from Persia along with 700 craftsmen.

Pashmina shawls have been worn by the elites in the region for centuries. Pashmina blankets were vital additions to a wealthy women's dowry in India and Nepal, they are a sort of status symbol in these countries. Pashmina crafts were made popular in Kashmir by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani. Pashmina is derived from mountain breeds of goat. One distinct difference between pashmina and generic cashmere is the fibre diameter. Pashmina fibres are finer and thinner than generic cashmere fibre and therefore ideal for making lightweight apparel like fine scarves; as the fibre diameter is low, pashmina has to be hand-processed and woven into products such as shawls, wraps, stoles, etc. However, the quality of a finished shawl is not dependent on the fibre diameter of the wool but on the craftsmen's skills. Pashmina products are made in Kashmir and Nepal. Today, the word "pashmina" is used indiscriminately, many scarves made from natural or synthetic fiber are sold under the name "pashmina", creating confusion in the market.

The exorbitant price of a real pashmina shawl is due to the amount of expert craftsmanship that goes into creating each shawl and the rarity of the pashmina wool – the wool is used in a Kashmiri pashmina shawl is sourced from the changthangi breed of goat and this breed constitutes less than 0.1% of global cashmere production. Goats used for pashmina shed their winter coat every spring. One goat sheds 80–170 gram of the fibre. See cashmere wool. In the spring, the goats shed their undercoat, which regrows in winter; this undercoat is collected by combing the goat, not by shearing, as in other fine wools. A traditional producer of pashmina wool in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas are a people known as the Changpa; these are a nomadic people and inhabit the Changthang plateau of Tibet, which has a lowest altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level and a winter temperature which can drop to −40 degree Celsius. The Changpa rear sheep in these harsh climates for meat, pashmina goats for wool. Raw pashmina is exported to Kashmir.

All steps from combing and spinning, to weaving and finishing, are traditionally carried out by hand by specialized craftsmen and women. The major centre of pashmina fabric production is in the old district of the city of Srinagar; the approximate time put into producing a single traditional pashmina stole. China accounts for 70% of the world cashmere production, Mongolia 20%, the remaining 10% of production is in Afghanistan, India, Nepal, United States, the Central Asian republics and elsewhere. Only a small percentage of this production is the ultra-fine cashmere known as pashmina. Pashmina accessories are known for their warmth, they are available in a range of sizes, from "scarf" 12 in × 60 in to "wrap" or "stole" 28 in × 80 in to full sized shawl 36 in × 80 in and in rare cases, "macho" 12 ft × 12 ft. Pure pashmina is a rather gauzy, open weave, as the fibre cannot tolerate high tension; the most popular pashmina fabric is a 70% pashmina/30% silk blend, but 50/50 is common. The 70/30 is woven, has an elegant sheen and drapes nicely, but is still quite soft and light-weight.

A craze for pashmina shawls, known as shahmina in Kashmir, in the mid-1990s resulted in high demand for the raw material, so demand exceeded supply. When these shawls rose into fashion prominence during the era, they were marketed dubiously. In the consumer markets, pashmina shawls have been redefined as a shawl/wrap with cashmere and cashmere/silk, notwithstanding the actual meaning of pashmina; some shawls marketed as pashmina shawls contain wool, while other unscrupulous companies marketed artificial fabrics such as viscose and others as "pashmina" with deceptive marketing statements such as "authentic viscose pashmina". The word "pashmina" is not a labelling term recognized by law in the United States, where it is considered another term for cashmere. According to the U. S. Federal Trade Commission: Some manufacturers use the term pashmina to describe an ultra fine cashmere fiber; the FTC encourages manufacturers and selle