Friday, January 2, 2015


Yesterday was January 1, which means we are now starting a whole new year called 2015.  And more important than that, it means there are only 10 days left until the Plains Indians exhibit ends on January 11.  Out of those 10 days, there are 2 days when the museum is not open to the public, so the real truth is that if you don't see this exhibit in the next 8 days, you are totally out of luck!  (Well, unless you want to go see it at the Metropolitan in New York, when it opens there in March.)

Anyway, today I will share some more pictures that Mom took while she was hanging out in the exhibit, guarding the artwork and artifacts.

In my last entry, I showed you some buffalo skins that had pictures drawn on them.  When the Indians started living on reservations and could get ledger books, they drew pictures in these, too.  A lot of the pictures were of bloody battle scenes, but some drawings were of animals.  Here's one that shows two elk.

And here's a picture of one elk who is using a tree to rub the "velvet" off his antlers.  I really like the expression on his face.

This drawing shows an Indian hunting buffalo.

While the men were busy drawing pictures on hides or in books, the women were making designs and pictures with beads.  The beads came from the French and the British and the English, who traded them for furs.  Later on, after the United States became a country, the Americans also set up forts and traded lots of things with the Indians for furs.  The beads were made of glass, and they were manufactured in places like Austria.

Indians liked to put beads on their shirts and leggings and dresses and saddle blankets and moccasins and pretty much everything else they made.  This is a belt for a little girl to wear.

Here is a mask for a horse to wear during parades and on special occasions.  I guess the horns were supposed to make the horse look like a buffalo, but I don't think I would be fooled.  As far as I know, the Indians did not make costumes for their dogs, which is probably just as well.

This is a view of part of a woman's dress.  The whole front of the dress is beaded, which probably made it very heavy to wear.  Doing all that beadwork would have taken a lot of time and patience.

Here are some buffalo skulls and horses made in beads on a man's shirt.

I like this one a lot because it has sparkly beads.  It's a cuff that you wear with a dance costume at a pow-wow.

The Indians also used lots of feathers, and eagle feathers were the most important.  Everybody has seen Indian chiefs in movies and TV shows wearing headdresses with a bunch of eagle feathers.  Back in the old days, a man could earn a feather for doing a brave deed, like maybe killing an enemy in battle.  Later, headdresses were more for display, such as in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

This headdress came from the Buffalo Bill Museum, and it has eagle feathers, chicken feathers, raven feathers, and maybe some other kinds of feathers on it, too.  Also, it is decorated with lots of beads and drawings.  You would have to wear it while riding a horse because it is very long.

After the bald eagle became an endangered species, people could not kill eagles or buy their feathers because it was illegal to do that.  A man who was visiting the exhibit told Mom that there are places where you can buy "imitation" eagle feathers.  These are usually turkey feathers that have the tip colored black.

Anyway, that is all I am going to tell you about the Plains Indians exhibit.  Lots and lots of people have gone to see it in the last week or so, and there will probably be lots more in the final week.  After that, things might calm down at the museum, and maybe Mom won't have to work so hard!

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