Plateau Peoples'
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k’úusey’ne sapoˀsaapóˀs, Nez Perce Woman's Saddle

In 1836, Henry Spalding and his wife Eliza joined Marcus and Narcissa Whitman on a mission to the Oregon Country. In 1846, Spalding acquired Nez Perce clothing, artifacts, and horse gear which he shipped to his friend and supporter, Dr. Dudley Allen, in Ohio. Dr. Allen wrote to Henry Spalding on March 27, 1848 that the box containing this saddle was badly damaged.In exchange for these Native American goods, Dr. Allen, a benefactor to the Presbyterian mission sent needed commodities to Spalding.

Nakia Williamson-Cloud on what makes this a woman's saddle:

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ˀiméesnim ˀítetp’es, Deer Head Shape Bag, Nez Perce

This beaded, decorated bag in three pieces was used as a man's bag for for personal itmes, possible tomacco and pipe bowl or medicine. It is not a tribal medicine bag. The ope or upper section is bison hide and the main section is of an an unborn fawn skin. The bison hide shows use prior to manufacture of this bag. The fawn skin includes feet like appendages which were shortened and stitched together.

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Wetxuuwíitin’ formerly the Spalding-Allen Collection (Nez Perce)

Between 1841 and 1846, Henry Spalding acquired Nez Perce [Nimiipuu] clothing, artifacts, and horse gear which he shipped to his friend and supporter, Dr. Dudley Allen, in Ohio. In exchange for these Native American goods, Dr. Allen, a benefactor to the Presbyterian mission sent needed commodities to Spalding. After Allen’s death, his son, Dudley, donated the Spalding-Allen Collection to Oberlin College in 1893. Oberlin College, in turn, loaned most, but not all, of the collection to the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) for safe keeping, where it languished for decades.

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k’úusey’ne sapoˀsaapóˀs, Woman's Saddle Drawings

When the Ohio Historical Society recalled the Spalding-Allen (Wetxuuwíitin’) Collection, the Nez Perce Tribe and the National Park Service thought that they collection may never return to the Nez Perce National Historical Park. On the eve of returning the collection, curator Bob Chenoweth invited Nez Perce to help with documentation.

 

Nakia Williamson-Cloud describes making these drawings: