Northern Cheyenne quilled horse mask, mid-19th C. A quilled horse mask like this one would have been created by a member of a quillwork guild which died out in the late 1800’s. But the art of making horse masks still thrives. The museum is pleased to showcase a contemporary horse mask (below) by Kiowa artist Vanessa Jennings that features cut glass beads, silver, red and black wool cloth, brass bells, brass spots, hide, and red dyed horse hair.
Horse Masks. Siksika (Blackfoot) horse head covering, circa 1845.The mask, made around 1845, is decorated with clipped feathers, Chinese brass buttons and pony beads, which were among the first glass beads introduced to Native Americans through trade with Europeans. As horses became integral to Indian tribes like the Navajo, Crow and Blackfeet, riders became experts in fabricating horse gear for hunting, warfare and ceremony, thus transformed utilitarian equipment into a unique art form.
Native American Beaded Full Horse Mask. This pattern is similar to a Cayuse horse mask from the 19th century. A perfect addition to your Native American parade horse regalia, or perhaps you are looking for art representative of the Native American horse tribes from earlier time periods.
Horse Masks: Lakota beaded horse mask, ca. 1904. Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. Because masks limited a horse's range of vision, they were usually used only for parades, not for battles. The elaborately beaded horse mask above was used in 1904 by a Teton Sioux chief to lead the Fourth of July parade at Pine Ridge,