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Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Buckskin, porcupine quills, bird quills, Stroud cloth (wool), silk ribbon, glass beads, cloth, thread, sinew
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 10 x 5 3/4 in. (25.4 x 14.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION 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
IMAGE overall, 50.67.12a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION 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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