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Culture:Native American; American Indian; Lakota Sioux
Title:Saddle bag or drape
Date Made:late 19th century, 1880s
Type:Personal Gear
Materials:Bison hide leather; glass beads
Place Made:North America; United States
Measurements:Overall: 1 in x 68 in x 13 in; 2.5 cm x 172.7 cm x 33 cm
Accession Number:  MH SK K.47
Credit Line:Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, Mount Holyoke College
Museum Collection:  The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College

Label Text:
The introduction of European horses onto the Great Plains had a profound impact on the Sioux. Saddle bags like this were often made to be both functional and symbolic with the beadwork making a statement about its owner and their place within the community. The presentation of Native American objects, both historical and contemporary, alongside those of other American artists is long overdue. Hundreds of sovereign Native American nations, only some of which are recognized by the United States government, have been creating works of art for thousands of years. Although this bag’s unique history remains elusive, continued study can provide us with a better understanding of the artists and culture that created it.

(Sept. 2016)

Native American; indigenous people

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