Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A RARE NORTHERN ARAPAHO WOMAN'S PAINTED BUFFALO ROBE

Details
A RARE NORTHERN ARAPAHO WOMAN'S PAINTED BUFFALO ROBE
Painted with a yellow ochre and decorated with a "box and border" motif, the border composed of three bands, in green, yellow, red and blue, enclosing a rectangular element containing symbolic motifs within linear bar elements in red, green, brown and blue, three radiating panels, the central panel with rectangular design also containing linear bands in similar colors with two triangular patterns extending downward, enclosed by two panels enclosing triangular designs with serrated edge at bottom, two lozenge designs on the reverse
79in. (200cm.) long
Provenance
This robe comes from the German castle Schloss Matzen, the second largest castle in Tirol. In the second half of the nineteenth century the castle belonged to an Irish aristocrat, who also happened to be an avid hunter. The buffalo robe hung in the castle with several of his prize trophies including a pair of antlers adorned with a plaque dating them to 1877 and stating that they were from the Wyoming territory.

Lot Essay

This robe compares quite closely to a well known example in the University Museum, Philadelphia, acquistion number 45 - 15 - 706 (see Dockstader, 1962, no. 204). According to Barbara Hail (1993, p. 40) such "box and border" decorated robes were worn only by women. The meanings of the motifs are variously interpreted as representing the internal organs of buffalo, cedar trees, or the coventionalzation of other forms. The painting of the "box and border" design was carried on in the development of parfleche painting.
;

More from AMERICAN INDIAN ART

View All
View All