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The object is a bow, a bow case, arrows and a quiver. Bow is inlaid with elk antler and decorated with bands of mallard duck neck skin. There is red dyed horsehair tufts at each end. Duck skin is used because for the Sioux the duck appears in all three levels of the world - sky, water and earth. The buffalo hide bow and quiver case has red and black pigment mixed with glue. Even lines of glue are used to create lines around the black triangles. The bow has an elaborate design on the surface created by inlaid sections of elk horn. On either side of the inlaid area is a red painted band, at the ends of which are mallard scalp feathers that have almost disappeared. The bow is backed with white-painted thread. Attached to each end of the bow are red horsehair ornaments. Also attached is a strip of red stroud cloth fastened around the handgrip. The bow case and quiver are made of buffalo hide and have sparsely painted designs. There are five configured designs: two on each side of the bow case and one on the quiver. The designs are made up of elongated diamond shapes divided in half with a small linking section between each repeated triangular part. All parts of the design are delineated with thin impressed lines. The triangles are filled in alternately with dark brown and red color. The small linking section is brown. The intensity of the colors is pale, perhaps from an application of sizing. From the bottom of the bow case hang hide tabs, with pierced decorations.

Credit Line

Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund

Item History

  • Made between 1800 and 1825

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