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Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Buckskin, porcupine quills, bird quills, glass beads,commercial cloth, rawhide, 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 Cree (Metis) (Native American). Mittens, early 19th century. Buckskin, porcupine quills, bird quills, glass beads,commercial cloth, rawhide, 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, 50.67.13a-b. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, CUR.50.67.13a-b_view1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"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, thumbs, and cuffs of these mittens are decorated with porcupine quillwork in a delicate curvilinear and geometric design complex that was originally colored bright blue, red, white, and purple. The cuff is decorated with a scalloped quillwork line in red and green and a horizontal border in registers of red, blue and green with white and purple diamonds running through it. On the front of the mitten (the back side of the wearer's hand) is a stylized, four petaled, red flower with two secondary tri-lobed flowers, represented by blue outlines and three heart-shaped petals that emerge from the center of the red flower. Four curvilinear green and white lines emerge from the center of this red flower and they in turn terminate in flowers with three-pointed petals of red, blue, and purple. This is referred to as "turning swastika-like cross petals design." On the same side of the mitten, closest to where the thumb is on the reverse, is a quilled strip of red and purple diamonds, bordered in white and placed on a band-like field of blue and red. On the thumb itself is a pattern of three flowers combined, a red one at the center and a blue and white one on each side. This motif is placed above a four-lobed linear representation of a red flower, very similar to the large one on the other side of the mitten. There is evidence the mittens once had a fur strip edging. The mittens have a printed cloth lining, patterned with a brownish green leafy or paisley design on a natural ground. The pattern is not meant to show as it is faced into the inside of the mittens. See Jarvis supplemental file Arts of Americas office.
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