Arts of the Americas
Buckskin, porcupine quills, bird quills, Stroud cloth (wool), silk ribbon, glass beads, cloth, thread, sinew
early 19th century
This item is not on view
Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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Red River Metis (Native American). Mittens, early 19th century. Buckskin, porcupine quills, bird quills, Stroud cloth (wool), silk ribbon, glass beads, cloth, thread, sinew, 10 x 5 3/4 in. (25.4 x 14.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.12a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.67.12a-b.jpg)
overall, 50.67.12a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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The backs of these mittens and the thumbs are quilled with red, light blue, white, and purple porcupine quills in a floral design. The main composition is symmetrically arranged around an equal-armed, eight pointed element on a quadrate layout. The effect is of a flowering plant bursting into blossoms toward the fingertips so that the design is oriented towards the wearer. Design elements consist of the double curve cross, the trefoil, tear drop shaped and heart shaped motifs. A smaller curvilinear floral and leaf is embroidered on the thumb. Clustered on a single stem, similar design elements appear in blue, red, white, and purple. The cuffs are made of dark blue Stroud cloth decorated at the border with beads and ribbon. From the upper third of the cuff, proceeding toward the fingers, the ornaments are arranged: a scalloped design of white beads, each point terminating in a trilobal design; then a field of red ribbon; followed by a simple line of single white beads; a narrow band of gold or dark yellow ribbon; and finally a border of two lines of white beads. Blue and white bird quills decorate the seams. See supplementary file in Arts of Americas office.
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