Crow woman's saddle, centerfire rigged, wood and elk-horn frame covered with hide and decorated with beadwork, acquired by the Museum 1993. To the tribes of the Great Plains, horses represented both wealth and freedom, and elaborately decorated riding gear was a critical means of cultural expression. Women's saddles were constructed differently from men's, with a wooden framework and high pommels covered in rawhide. The shape of the pommel and wide stirrups were of Spanish origin, but in Crow hands they became a space for eye-catching beadwork that moved with the horse, helping the rider to look her best.
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