Plains objects

The Science Museum of Minnesota holds a large collection of items made by people of the Plains region of North America.  An inventory completed in 2016 allowed for an in-depth look at these collections and digitization for online availability.  Below is a selection and additional material can be found by searching our Online Collections.


Catalogue #1-869 – Hide Scraper. Cultural Association: Blackfoot. Elk antler handle with metal blade. Blade attached to handle with hide wrappings and hide thongs. Thong secures the blade to the handle, ties around the center of the handle, and extends through and knots at a hole at the end of the handle.


Catalogue #49-164 – Backrest. Cultural Association: Blackfoot. Horizontal wood rods tied together creating trapezoidal frame. Rods tied together in middle and at ends. Red and tan cloth trim on three edges. V-shaped tan cloth piece with canvas backing attached to top. Cloth piece is covered with red cloth and decorated with black cloth patches, red cloth patches, white beadwork, and hide fringe with metal cones attached to ends. Hide thongs with metal cones also attached to frame trim.


Catalogue #49-184 – Powder Horn. Cultural Association: Blackfoot. Curved bison horn with end bound in hide with hide fringe. Round wood plug with two lines of blue beading, hide fringe, and metal eye bolt. Yellow, green, red, and white beaded hide strap with hide fringe at both ends attaches plug to end of horn.


Catalogue #49-194 – Bowl. Cultural Association: Blackfoot. Oval. Wood painted red on interior and exterior. Small hole near edge with rope threaded through it.


Catalogue #49-293 – Carrying Bag. Cultural Association: Gros Ventre. Hide with beadwork on both sides. Beadwork depicts blue, dark blue, and red geometric designs on one side and a white, red, and blue geometric figure on the opposite side. Bag is square with hide drawstring closures, short hide fringe around opening edge, and longer hide fringe around side and bottom edges. Interior has brown satin lining.


Catalogue #61-345 – Vest. Cultural Association: Cheyenne. Hide with multicolor quillwork on front and back. Both front flaps are decorated with a quillwork design of a purple horse and a red, white, and purple American flag on a red background. Back is decorated with a quillwork design of two purple horses and two crossed red, white, and purple American flags on a red background. Edges are lined with a strip of orange and white quillwork. Hide thong ties are attached to flap edges.


Catalogue #A76:2:409 – Carrying Basket. Cultural Association: Hidatsa or Mandan. Plaited reed sides and bottom with wood frame and a hide loop handle. Reeds form dark brown and light brown geometric designs. Square in shape with rounded opening. Two frame sections extend beneath basket as legs.


Catalogue #A2002:4:12 – Carrying Bag. Cultural Association: Crow. Hide with multicolor geometric beading and a metal clasp. Front, back, and sides are decorated with a beadwork design of blue, yellow, red, and green geometric shapes on a pink background. Metal clasp is decorated with leaf and star patterns. Metal chain strap attached to clasp at top.
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