Arts of the Americas
Hide, beads, Stroud cloth, quills, cotton fringe, silk ribbon, deer hair, glass beads, brass
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). Pad Saddle, early 19th century. Hide, beads, Stroud cloth, quills, cotton fringe, silk ribbon, deer hair, glass beads, brass, 26 x 18 1/2 in. (66 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.50.67.14_view1.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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The saddle is constructed as a heavy pad, enclosed within a durable covering of smoked skins. The skins were cut in an hourglass shape and then sewn together with sinew. The pad itself is stuffed with deer of buffalo hair or, possibly grass as a cushion.
A large rectangular piece of Stroud cloth, now brown, has been attached across the center of the saddle. It is finished with two lobe-like shapes and edged with white beads. The seams of the pad are edged with multi-colored quillwork in yellow, light blue, lavender, orange, brown, black and white. Black cotton fringe has been attached to the two narrow ends of the saddle. On each of the longer sides are four elongated cloth tabs, red at the center, tan at the edges and beaded with small geometric forms and lines in white, blue and orange. The tabs are trimmed at the bottom with deer hair tufts and interspersed with a fringe of large black, blue and amber glass beads. A cloth rosette decorates each of the four corners of the pad, containing four interconnected lobes that are fashioned in red, blue and black silk and Stroud cloth and ornamented with beads. Below each rosette are appliquéd lozenge forms or pointed ovals, containing two small triangles placed back to back, also edged with white beads.
The remnants of what might be stirrup leathers are concealed under the cloth. They are covered by a lighter, softer skin (deer?). The strap remnants seem to be recycled from some other object - - one side has a green, black and red painted design. Some native repair is evident. See Jarvis supplemental file Arts of Americas office.
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