A Kiowa beaded cradle

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Lot 197
A Kiowa beaded cradle

Sold for US$ 27,575 inc. premium

Native American Art

31 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

Property from a Private West Coast Collection, lots 190-197
A Kiowa beaded cradle
Attributed to Tahdo Ahtone, (1879-1966), with fully beaded hood showing stylized outlined leaf-form motifs on the blue background, ochre pigment and beaded drop accents, the bib above the cowl beaded with a pair of "peyote buttons" and brass tack accents, mounted on a plain wood frame.
length 45in, width 12 3/4in

Footnotes

  • The attribution to Tahdo (Medicine Sage) Ahtone comes from a comparison of key design elements seen in the present lot with known examples of her work in both museum and private collections. These include a vertical layout on each side of the cover of similar large leaf-form motifs with multiple raised outlining, banded horizontal framing elements at the hood and base, and repeat box designs outlining the outer edges. An additional trait, a distinctive manner of securing the cover to the boards through nine hole lacing, is not immediately evident due to the hide thongs having been replaced with commercial twine at some later date.

    A full-sized cradle attributed to Tahdo and dated c. 1915 is in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (33-1241), and can be viewed online at: https://art.nelson-atkins.org/objects/21808/cradle

    See also: Hail, Barbara A., editor, Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles, 2000, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University, Bristol, RI, pp. 82-87 for two of Tahdo's cradles, one a toy example in private hands (p.82, Fig 8.1), the other full-sized (p.86, Fig 8.5) and in the collection of the Denver Art Museum (1985.99.I).

    In the accompanying essay written by her son Jacob Ahtone, (1918-2006), he states that Tahdo was reported to have made up to eight full size cradleboards and many toy cradles. Discussing the process of designing the cradle, Ahtone observed that: "Tahdo used leaf motifs quite a bit. She took a natural leaf and simulated it by cutting a pattern on heavy brown paper..." He later concludes: "The oak leaf design, so common as a motif on many Kiowa articles of dress, I feel to be an outgrowth of winning designs on artifacts exhibited by Tahdo in the early Indian Days of Albuquerque, New Mexico. A field matron of the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the name of Suzie Peters used to assemble Kiowa art and artifacts for shows at Albuquerque. Annually the Kiowa Exhibit won First Prize. Tahdo and Maggie Smoky were the major beadworkers for the Kiowa Exhibit. Because the Exhibit was considered outstanding and truly representative of Kiowa art many people started to use the oak leaf on their craft work. Therefore, it could be said that Tahdo was one of the first innovators to use and have the oak leaf, considered as representative art of the Kiowa. Today there is much use of the oak leaf in Kiowa beaded articles."
Contacts
A Kiowa beaded cradle
A Kiowa beaded cradle
A Kiowa beaded cradle
A Kiowa beaded cradle
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