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Suitcase: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Beaded pictographs produced by Plains Indian women in the late 19th and early 20th century were an extension of pictographs that had been drawn by men for many generations. Men's pictographs usually recorded stories of battle, visionary experiences, hunting, and courting. Women mostly beaded geometric designs, but the rare object with pictographs usually depicted domestic scenes and courting. The very few beaded suitcases/satchels in existence were produced by the Lakota, from either Cheyenne River or Standing Rock Reservation. The beaded signature suggests the artist's name is Ida Claymore. She drew on conventions of painted and drawn works to illustrate the story depicted on the suitcase. On one side, a suitor brings many horses, which are shown by multiple heads, to his potential mate as a gift. The horse that is fully illustrated is given to the woman, shown by her holding its reins. Furthermore, the camp scene, featuring a tipi, and a rack that holds multiple decorated hides, implies that this event took place in a traditional camp setting. The other side of the suitcase features two cowboys roping domestic cattle.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: October 2, 2010