The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, March 9 – May 10, 2015

“In the historical absence of written language, art is where the underpinning of tribal thought and values are encrypted.” — Arthur Amiotte (2014), from the exhibition catalogue for The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky.

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Human Effigy Pipe, 100 B.C. – A.D. 100, Adena or Hopewell artist, Adena Mound, Ross County (Ohio)

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The Hero Redhorn or Morningstar, Human Effigy Pipe, 1100 – 1200, Mississippian artist, Spiro Mound, Le Flore County (Oklahoma)

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Human Effigy, 18th century, Southeastern Plains artist

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Detail: The Grand Robe, c. 1800-1830, Central Plains artists

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Oak’s shield, c. 1780, Northern Cheyenne artist, Wyoming

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Installation view

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Robe with Mythic Bird, c. 1700 – 1740, Eastern Plains artist, probably Illinois, Mid-Mississippi River basin

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Detail: Robe with Mythic Bird

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Left: Feather headdress, second half of the 18th century, Eastern Plains or Western great Lakes. Right: Horned Headdress, c. 1780, Eastern Plains artists, Lower Missouri River Region

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Installation view

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Top: Calumet stem and pipe bowl, c.1780-1830, Upper Missouri River region artists. Right: Pipe stem, c. 1800-1825, Eastern Plains or Great Lakes artists

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Top: Pipe Stem, c. 1800 – 1820, Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux) artist, Minnesota. Left: Pipe Bowl, c. 1800 – 1820, Western Great Lakes or Eastern Plains artist. Center: Pipe Bowl, c. 1830, Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux) artist, Minnesota. Right: Pipe Bowl, c. 1820, Skiri Pawnee artist, Nebraska

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Woman’s Dress, c. 1855, Central Plains artist, probably Lakota

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Man’s Shirt, 1865, Oglala Lakota (Teton Sioux) artists, South Dakota

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Man’s Moccasins, c. 1850, Upper Missouri River Region artist, probably Lakota (Teton Sioux)

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Feather Headdress, c. 1865, Oglala Lakota (Teton Sioux) artists, North or South Dakota

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Detail: Feather Headdress

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Front: Courting Whistle, c. 1830, Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux) artist, Minnesota. Top: Turban Headdress, c. 1830, Kitkahanhki Pawnee artist, Nebraska. Left: Roach spreader, c. 1830, Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux) artist, Minnesota

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Horse Effigy, c. 1880, Hunkpapa Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, Standing Rock Reservation (North or South Dakota)

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Horse Mask, 19th century, Blackfeet

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Robe, c. 1865, Northern Arapaho artist, Colorado

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Installation view

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Man’s Shirt, c. 1880, Blackfeet artist

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Bow case and quiver, c. 1875, Crow artist, Montana

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Front: Pipe Bowl and Stem, c. 1875, Probably Osage artist, Oklahoma. Right: Pipe Bowl, c. 1875, Cheyenne artist, Wyoming or Oklahoma

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Pipe Bowl, c. 1870, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Center: Parfleche Envelopes, c. 1900 – 1910, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota. Right: Parfleche Box, c. 1889, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Doll, c. 1880, Northern Cheyenne artists, Wyoming

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Girl’s Belt Set, c. 1884, Southern Cheyenne artist, Oklahoma

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Calendar, c. 1905-1906, Silver Horn, Haungooah (1860 – 1940), Oklahoma

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Calendar, c. 1905-1906, Silver Horn, Haungooah (1860 – 1940), Oklahoma

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The Kiowa Pantheon, 1904, Silver Horn, Haungooah (1860 – 1940), Kiowa, Oklahoma

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Ghost Dance Dress, c. 1890, Southern Arapaho artist, Oklahoma

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Detail: Ghost Dance Dress

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Left: Man’s Vest, c. 1890. Probably Oglala Lakota (Teton Sioux) artists, Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota

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Cradleboard, c. 1890, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Peyote Fan, c. 1945, Kiowa artist, Oklahoma

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Woman’s Dress, c. 1900, Dakota (Eastern Sioux), Yanktonai or Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, Fort Peck Reservation (Montana)

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Horse Mask, c. 1900, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Right: Valise, 1903, Nellie Two Bear Gates, Mahpiya Bogawin, Gathering of Clouds Woman (1854-?), Lakota (Teton Sioux), Standing Rock Reservation (North and South Dakota)

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Woman’s Shoes, c. 1920, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Man’s Coat, c. 1920, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Feather Headdress, c. 1925, Lakota (Teton Sioux) artist, North or South Dakota

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Detail: Feather Headdress

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Last Lakota Horse Raid, 1991, Rhonda Holy Bear, Wakah Wayuphika Win, Making Beauty with Exceptional Skills Woman (1959 -), Sans Arc, Two Kettle and Hunkpapa Lakota (Teton Sioux), Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservations (North and South Dakota)

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Woman’s Dress and Accessories, 2005, Jodi Gillette (1959-), Hunkpapa Lakota (Teton Sioux), North Dakota

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War Shirt #1, from Modern Warrior series, 1998, Bently Spang

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Installation view

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Horseshoes, 2014, Jamie Okuma, Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock

Photographs by Corrado Serra