Thursday, August 11, 2011

Horse Regalia at the Denver Art Museum

It took seven months, but the kids and I finally made it back to the Denver Art Museum.  Fortunately, the new and improved American Indian exhibit was well worth the wait.
This display of Native American horse regalia is composed of pieces from several different tribes.  With the exception of the saddle blanket, all the pieces date to the early 1900's.  The blanket is a bit younger, having been created in the 1930's. 
The martingale was made by a Plateau artist.  
The saddle is also Plateau and the cradleboard is Nez Perce.
This beaded bag was made by a Spokane artist.
The rump drape is also Spokane.
Detail of the above.   Sorry about the soft focus.  Flash photography is not allowed in the Denver Art Museum, and I'm afraid it shows!
The bridle and horse mask were displayed separately from the regalia.
The bridle is Crow and was made in the early 1900's.
It is made from rawhide, porcupine quills, tin, horse hair and glass beads.  
This Blackfeet mask was made in 1890. 
It is made from canvas and decorated with glass beads and feathers.
That's not all--saddles and saddle blankets are coming up next!


  1. Very interesting. I always wonder how on earth they rode in those saddles. One sharp stop and you'd be impaled!

  2. I lived in Denver when I was a kid and, somewhere, I've got pictures of these that I meant to use to make a full costume (for my SR San Domingo "Ruby", who was my premier show horse, circa 1989).

    Ordinarylittleart: These are ceremonial/dress saddles--they weren't doing a lot of hard and fast riding in them. Think high heels instead of tennis shoes.

  3. Thanks for sharing! It's a rare thing to see Spokane horse regalia. I live next door and have yet to see any. Too cool!