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Join us as we trace the history and visual arts of horse gear among the Apsáalooke or Crow Indians of Montana with Dr. Tim McCleary. First acquired in the early 1700s, by the 1800s the Apsáalooke had the largest herds on the Northern Plains and the horse continues to play a central role in their lives, arts, and culture.
The earliest horse gear created by the Apsáalooke was modeled on Colonial Spanish examples. By the early 1800s, Crows had elaborated and expanded the gear, creating visual arts that are recognized widely as true works of art. Native-made horse gear served not only necessity, but aesthetic desires of Crow people. This presentation will examine the significance of the various components of the horse gear with examples from the Denver Art Museum’s collection and its evolving meaning in the Crow community.
Tim McCleary, Ph.D. has taught at Little Bighorn College, the Apsáalooke or Crow Indian Tribal College for over twenty years, including various courses on Crow horse culture. He lives on the reservation in the Two Leggings area of the Black Lodge District.
Spomsored by Friends of Native Arts: The Douglas Society, a DAM support group.
Image: Horse bridle and reins, unknown Crow artist, no date. Rawhide, bead, paint, iron and horsehair. Purchase from L.D. Bax, 1945.249A