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Saddle - Prairie Saddle by Rita Suminski (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma) SOLD

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Price: $1,500.00
SOLD - Please call us for more information
Item Number: CX0102
Absolutely stunning collectors item!  This saddle can we used as a saddle and or displayed in your home!

This saddle is based on pad saddles made in the late 1800's into the early 1900's.   It is made of hand tanned deer hide, glass beads, metal bells, wool tassels, cotton and antique iron "D" rings.  The purple cotton braid is the same ty pe used on many historic beadwork pieces. The cutout area on one end accomodates a horses wither and allows the saddle to sit more flush on the horses back.  Saddles of this type didn't usually have stirrups, although some did. The saddles of this type can easily be rigged for actual riding.

This saddle is comfortable to sit on if the horse is a little bony.  The leather seat is just a little tacky which helps the rider stay on the horse.  When sitting on the saddle, the four corners raise just a little which press against the legs which also helps the rider stay stride.

Rita Suminski is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.  She was raised on a farm in Western Kansas where horses and competitions in games based on Plains Indian was games were a big part of her life.  Her study of Native American Art material and production began at an early age.  As as adult, Rita spent 30 years in a career as a federal wildlife biologist in the Western US. 

Saddle History:
Native saddle making began nearly as soon as the first horses were obtained. There were many variations, but two historiac types are often seen in photo and museums.  The first is a saddle with a framemade of wood or horn, covered with raw hide.  Decorations on these ran from none to elaborate as exhibited in the Crow women's saddles from the later Reservation period. The second saddle is lesser known. Examples are most prevelant from the eastern prairies up to the Great Lakes area. Many date to the late Reservation period but were in use much earlier. This is the padded oval or near rectangular shaped buckskin saddle. It can have sparse decoration, or by fully beaded.  Many examples however, have four beaded decorations at the four "corners" of the saddle seat. The beaded decorations can be sparse or elaborate and depend on tribal/individual preferences in amount and color. Some pad saddles have cutout areas for a horse's withers, some do not. While pad saddles had a utilitarian purpose, they also were intended to convey a message on the owner's status.

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