Sunday, December 25, 2016

Lakota Purse

My Native/Indigenous subject cards are a nice mix of tourism souvenirs, historical photos, and museum objects. Museums occasionally print photos of objects in their collections, producing postcards for sale in their gift shops...(a project I plan to explore in the future considers the role that gift shop items play in extending knowledge about cultures to the public).

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City has many wonderful objects in their collection, including this beaded Lakota purse made in 1905.

Beadwork increased during the reservation period (1880-1920)...women made beautiful objects as gifts, for ceremonial purposes, and for everyday use as well as sale or trade at local stores. Items also circulated among tribes, given or exchanged in friendship and new marriages. Increasingly, women beaded objects associated with EuroAmerican culture including pillows, tablecloths, purses, watch fobs, hats, and umbrellas. Few artists make these types of objects today, but occasionally one can find them in fine art galleries.

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