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Daily Art Moment: Cheyenne Blanket

Green is a color infrequently seen in most collections of Plains material, which makes this beaded trade blanket all the more striking. The wool blanket, probably received from a trader in exchange for other goods, was embellished in the same manner as a tanned animal hide: a long, beaded strip was attached along the middle, in the same position as the spine of the animal. This blanket is an example of how trade items continued to be adapted and transformed into the cultural and aesthetic systems of Native people in the late 19th century, much like the glass beads manufactured in Europe.

Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art

Cheyenne artist, Blanket, ca. 1875. Wool, glass beads. The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection, 90.33.2, no known copyright restrictions