Lakota Paint Kit
Emil Her Many Horses is an exceptional beadworker and artist. He has won awards for his contemporary interpretations of traditional ceremonies and rituals. This paint kit includes a parfleche-style rawhide container which holds pigments, palettes and painting bones.
The artist was inspired by two items he encountered in his positions as curator. The first was a painted parfleche paint kit at the S D Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum in Saint Francis, South Dakota. The second item was a beaded cowhide container with hair still on that he encountered at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, where he is an associate curator. Her Many Horses combined the two concepts into one beautifully designed and executed package that resonates with beauty and tradition.
The parfleche is made from dry-scraped rawhide from Wyoming. The pouches are made from brain-tanned deer hide. The hand-dyed wool has a white border reminiscent of saved list cloth that was popular with Indian clothing makers in the 19th century. The six pouches of earth paints represent the colors that were traditionally used in Lakota hide paintings and parfleche containers. The beads include old French seed beads that the artist had saved. Other materials include brass sequins, dyed horse hair, tin cones, turtle shells, and bone “paint brushes” made from cow hip bones. The cloths on which the artwork is displayed were chosen by the artist for their resemblance to traditional cloths that were used from the 19th century on.
The parfleche is 11 1/2″ long x 8″ wide x 7″ high. The pouches (filled with pigments) are approximately 3 1/2″ x 2″; the turtle shells are approximately 4″ x 2 1/2″.