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Edgar Heap of Birds, Spring 2013

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Sioux Artist



Jacket, late 19th c
Beads and cloth on leather
30 3/4 x 24 in. (78.11 x 60.96 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Pomona College Collection
Accession Number: P5339
Fringed buckskin jacket with cloth lining. Unique beadwork inspired by hide painting. Beadwork depicts a Crow shooting Sioux horse stealers.

Materials
glass beads, cloth and leather

Bibliography
Kathleen Howe, Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2013), 28 illustrated/color.
See "Pomona Today," Spring 1985, cover.
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 49-50 (illustrated/bw 50) fig. 139.
"Native American and European World Views."

Attribution
See R. Conn report (1978.)

Commentary
Beadwork with figurative designs is sometimes found on Plains clothing. Directly related to hide painting, it is probably a joint effort of beadworking by women and design layout by men. The figures on this jacket depict a Sioux horse raid on a Crow camp. Hudson Bay Company white blanket coats with hoods, like these depicted here, were worn by Plains men during the winter. As in hide painting, the horses are shown with unnaturally colored hides and are often incompletely drawn.
The acquisition of additional horses was an important aspect of social class. As horses were at a premium, horse raiding was essential on the northern and central Plains. They were acts of aggression , but were accomplished without being detected by the enemy. The Crow were known for their fine horses, and they were often the victims of raids by the Sioux, their traditional rivals.
-from the Native American Art from the Permanent Collection catalog, 1979

Although figurative designs in Plains beadwork are uncommon, they are sometimes found on clothing, as in this man's jacket, which represents a shift in artistic practice. At the turn of the last century, figurative motifs from painting, as traditionally practiced by men in hide paintings, were taken up by women in beadwork, which previously had been abstract. As in hide painting, the horses here are incompletely rendered in non-naturalistic colors.
The scene that flows around the entire body of the jacket and onto the arms depicts a Sioux raiding party taking horses from a Crow camp. The high value of horses made them an important aspect of social class for Native Americans and horse raiding was not uncommon on the northern and central Plains. The Crow were known for their fine horses, which were targeted in raids by the Sioux, their traditional rivals.
-object commentary from Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice exhibition

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Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Edgar Heap of Birds, Spring 2013" and [Object]Century is "19th c" and [Object]Display Artist is "Sioux Artist".




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