Matilda Jones

Kahkewaquonaby, the Reverend Peter Jones

1831
The Reverend Peter Jones, called Kahkewaquonaby (1802-1856), was a Chief of the Credit River band, Methodist minister, author, and translator of Christian texts into Ojibwa. His Ojibwa name means “Sacred Waving Feathers” or “Eagle Feathers”. His father was a Loyalist emigré, his mother a daughter of a Chief of the Missassauga Tribe of the Ojibwa Nation. In 1831-32 Jones travelled in Britain, raising funds for missionary work among the First Nations and petitioning the government on behalf of his people. Matilda Jones (no relation), an artist whose family supported the missionary’s cause, painted this portrait when he visited London. His dress is European, but he wears an Indian treaty medal that bears a portrait of George III in token of his role as Chief of a tribe allied with the British. He also wears a « ceinture flêchée », a distinctive woven belt worn by Métis, Québecois, and certain First Nations. This double lineage is also indicated in the landscape, depicting a wigwam and a European-style building respectively. The balance is in favour of Europe, alluding to the sitter’s assimilationist stance.
Title
Kahkewaquonaby, the Reverend Peter Jones
Date
1831
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on ivory
Dimensions
11.3 x 8.7 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1984
Accession number
28618