Plains Indians held the family circle sacred: it represented creation, respect, tradition, and harmony. At the center of that circle, walking in beauty, were women. From early childhood girls prepared for their role by playing with miniature tipisMorePlains Indians held the family circle sacred: it represented creation, respect, tradition, and harmony. At the center of that circle, walking in beauty, were women.
From early childhood girls prepared for their role by playing with miniature tipis and dolls dressed in tribal clothing. They practiced the arts of sewing, beading, tanning buffalo hides, and decorating with porcupine quills. The clothes they wore and the implements they used were objects of art in themselves. To the Indian, there is no distinction between art and life or between what is beautiful and what is functional. Here, in stunning photographs, are the clothing and objects that were a part of daily life for Native American women. From moccasins, buckskin dresses, and jewelry, to blankets, tipis, and household tools, these objects are intricate works of art.
Woven into the pictorial display are four intriguing legends illustrating the variety of womens roles in Native American life. Forty of the pieces are from the magnificent David T. Vernon Collection permanently on display at the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum in Grand Teton National Park. Sixty additional works are from the San Diego Museum of Man. C.J. Brafford, curator at the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum, has provided lyrical introductions connecting the legends with life and art. Another specialist in Native American art, Laine Thom, provides fascinating details and background information in the captions that accompany each photograph.
The legends, photographs, and excellent commentary blend into a beautiful and informative book about the harmony of life and art in Native American culture.