Horse trappings, 19th-21st centuries
Gift of funds from the N. Bud and Beverly Grossman Foundation in honor of Dr. Evan M. Maurer, Director Emeritus, for his visionary leadership of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Saturday, June 2, 2007Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Cargill Gallery 103
The Apsaalooka are a Native American northern Plains tribal group in south-central Montana. Apsaalooka translates as “people of the black-beaked bird,” also known as the Crow.
The Apsaalooka have long been admired for their horsemanship and for the exceptional quality of the beadwork with which they decorate their horses’ tack, clothing, tools, and other utilitarian objects.
Some of the beaded objects in this exhibition were made more than a hundred years ago, while others are contemporary. All share elements common to the Apsaalooka style: specific geometric patterns, particular color combinations, and highly refined beading techniques.
Although the objects in this exhibition represent the daily lives and activities of Apsaalooka men, women, and children, the beadwork itself is an art practiced exclusively by women. In this matrilineal society, women wield a great deal of power and are able to achieve high political status. The beadwork designs and skills represented here have been passed down through generations of women, and the art is still practiced today.