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Toys in the Plains Indian Museum

The exquisitely-detailed toys in our Plains Indian Museum are some of my favorite artifacts.

A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: NancyM


NA.507.18
Northern Plains | doll and h...
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Exhibit notes: Amazingly detailed

Museum record: NA.507.18 | ca. 1900 | doll length: 7 in | Gift of Lucile M. Wright | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Stuffed female doll and horse. Doll has tanned dress. Horse is tanned hide with saddle. Bead decoration on dress, overlay beaded decoration on boot moccasins, and on saddle bags, horse neck decoration. Black painted spots on horse. Horse hair braids on doll and name on horse. | BBHC Cody Enterprise column: “Your Museum Matters” – December 1, 2008 From our collection: As kids, parents, and everyone in between are thinking toys and games this holiday season, we’re reminded that not only are playthings a part of numerous cultures, they’ve been around for ages, too. A civilization’s toys can tell a good deal about its beliefs, priorities, or everyday life. For instance, Native American toys helped prepare children for adult responsibilities. They were often miniature replicas of tools and implements, and play imitated adult tasks. The first dolls made by Lakota and other Plains tribes were simple figures of clay or rawhide cutouts stuffed with buffalo hair or grass. The detail in doll clothing helped an Indian girl learn her family’s way of making household objects. Finally, they were typically made by grandparents and rarely had much detail so features could be left to a child’s imagination. Photo caption/credit: Northern Plains doll and horse, ca. 1900. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming. Gift of Ms. Lucile M. Wright. NA.507.18 | NA.507.18.JPG | NA.507.18.jpg | horse | spots | doll and horse | trade | hide | seed | hair | pigment | Beads | deer | cloth | horse | tanned | Northern Plains

NA.507.126
Comanche | Cheyenne | Kiowa ...
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Exhibit notes: Without scale it would almost look real instead of a toy

Museum record: NA.507.126 | ca. 1900 | cradle top width: 7.25 in, cradle bottom width: 4 in, cradle length: 22 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | toy cradle with doll, good | NA.507.126.v1.jpg | NA.507.126.v2.jpg | NA.507.126.v3.jpg | l.312.2006.530.jpg | doll | toy cradle | doll | toy cradle | leather | cloth | Beads | wood | Comanche | Cheyenne | Kiowa

NA.507.90
Northern Plains | toy horse ...
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NA.507.90 | H: 13.75 in, width: 4.5 in, L: 13 in | Simplot Collection, Gift of J.R. Simplot | Ritual and Recreation, Toys. Toy horse/saddle/saddlebags. Hand tanned white buckskin, rawhide and canvas. Beads are lustre, seed, silver, brass and clear. Wooden legs and frame are cottonwood. | Book: Welcome to Kaya's World, 1764, Growing Up in a Native American Homeland; The American Girls Collection; Pleasant Company Publications; Middleton, WI; 2003; front cover , and page 14 | NA.507.90.jpg | NA.507.90.JPG | toy horse | canvas | tanned | deer hide | Horse Hair | seed beads | rawhide | cotton wood | Northern Plains

NA.507.74
Plateau | toy canoe | green ...
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NA.507.74 | ca. 1900 | L: 9.5 in, width: 2.125 in | FUNCTION: Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Carved wood; sides painted green; top edge painted red. ---Adolf Spohr collection was purchased with monies donated by Larry Sheerin, by the BBMA. Mr. Spohr (deceased) was a western artist who lived in Cody. Photographed. | NA.507.74.JPG | toy canoe | green | wood | Red | carved | pigment | Plateau

NA.507.98
Montana | Apsáalooke | Crow...
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NA.507.98 | 1895-1900 | L: 24.5 in, width: 10 in, depth: 4 in | In memory of Frank O. Horton and Henriette S. Horton | Ritual and Recreation, Toys. Toy baby carrier, tanned hide covering a long, oval shaped board. Fringed at top and bottom. Beading at top is yellow, blue, pink and green triangular designs on a light blue ground, edged in white, blue and tan with a red tradecloth border. Three sets of straps across carrier are beaded in light blue and tan triangles alternating with blue and yellow triangles. Bottom beaded in a blue cross on a yellow stripe, bordered by pink stripes on a blue ground. Edged in red tradecloth. | NA.507.98.jpg | na.507.98.jpg | cross | triangles | stripes | toy cradle | tanned | hide | Beads | Tradecloth | Montana | Apsáalooke | Crow

NA.507.26
Northern Plains | miniature ...
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NA.507.26 | overall length: 10.5 in, width: 2.25 in | FUNCTION: Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Red wool with overlay bead decoration on tanned hide, other bead decoration on wool, blue wool lining. ---Source unknown. | NA.507.26.JPG | miniature bandolier | deer hide | tanned | seed beads | trade cloth | wool | Northern Plains

NA.507.22
Northern Plains | miniature ...
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NA.507.22 | L: 4.5 in | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Tanned with beaded decoration, fringe on bottom with glass beads. | NA.507.22.JPG | miniature pouch | seed beads | glass | deer hide | tanned | Northern Plains

NA.507.3
Crow | Northern Plains | dol...
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NA.507.3 | ca. 1885 | L: 20.75 in, cradle top width: 6.25 in, cradle bottom width: 2.75 in, doll length: 11.75 in | Adolf Spohr Collection, Gift of Larry Sheerin | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. (A) Canvas cloth with wooden inverted U shape frame. Overlay bead panel at top and bottom and body straps in geometric design. Buckskin fringe at top and bottom. (B) Stuffed female doll with buckskin dress having red cloth yoke and some bead decoration. Bead facial features and bead loop earrings. | NA.507.3A&B.JPG | NA.507.3.jpg | geometric | doll | toy cradle | fringe | Tradecloth | deer hide | Beads | wood | seed | canvas | Crow | Northern Plains

NA.507.64
South Dakota | Sioux | doll ...
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NA.507.64 | 1890 | width: 9 in | Chandler-Pohrt Collection, Gift of Mr. William D. Weiss | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Female -- Deerskin, canvas, dress is painted yellow with red fringe at bottom. Cowrie shells across shoulders; beaded strip around bottom in white, green and blue; beaded leather belt in turquoise, white and blue; dentlium, black beads and leather necklace and earrings; beaded moccasins and leggings in white, green, blue and red white hearts. | NA.507.64.JPG | NA.507.64.jpg | doll | dentallium | pigment | seed beads | deer hide | cowrie | tanned | Horse Hair | shells | canvas | South Dakota | Sioux

NA.507.43A
Choctaw | Cherokee | Oklahom...
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NA.507.43A | ca. 1900 | L: 34.75 in, width: 33.5 in | Gift of Robert Garland | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Carved with rawhide and thread cloth lacing. | NA.507.43A&B.JPG | ball stick | wood | thread | rawhide | carved | Choctaw | Cherokee | Oklahoma | Chickasaw

NA.507.43B
Oklahoma | Cherokee | Chocta...
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NA.507.43B | ca. 1900 | L: 34.75 in, width: 33.5 in | Gift of Robert Garland | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Carved with rawhide and thread cloth lacing. | NA.507.43A&B.JPG | lacrosse stick | wood | rawhide | thread | carved | Oklahoma | Cherokee | Choctaw | Chickasaw

NA.507.60
Crow Indian Reservation Mont...
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NA.507.60 | 1885 | L: 2 in, width: 1 in, H: 2.75 in | Chandler-Pohrt Collection, Gift of Mr. William D. Weiss | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Painted rawhide, covered with leather, beaded decoration in turquoise, red white hearts and yellow. | NA.507.60.JPG | toy saddle | pigment | tanned | rawhide | leather | seed beads | Crow Indian Reservation Montana | Crow

NA.507.69
Crow Indian Reservation, Mon...
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NA.507.69 | ca. 1930 | L: 36.5 in, H: 8.25 in | The Crow Indian Collection of Dr. William and Anna Petzoldt, gift of Genevieve Petzoldt Fitzgerald | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Wood rod with 4 miniature leather figures and rawhide saddles; small travois with rawhide bundles attached to one end; large tin cones at both ends and middle; leather strap attached near both ends. Replica Travois-Horses carrying family and possessions made by Ben Pease,g28 1930. | NA.507.69dtl.JPG | NA.507.69.JPG | saddles | figures | minature travois | rawhide | tin | cones | wood | leather | pigment | Crow Indian Reservation, Montana | Crow | Pease, Ben