VISITORS to Lotherton Hall can take a trip back to the great plains and experience 200 years of native North American honour and ritual.
Running from Friday 17 June until 25 September at the Leeds City Council-managed attraction in Aberford, a new touring exhibition from the British Museum ‘Warriors of the plains’ offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the warrior societies of the Native Americans.
The exhibition makes use of the British Museum’s large American collections and includes old photographs as well as a series of pictures of war dances among contemporary native Americans.
The exhibition explores honour, status and ritual amongst the indigenous peoples of the North American plains from 1800 to the present day exploring the relevance of the warrior legacy for contemporary Native American identity.
Highlights of the exhibition include feather headdresses, weapons, military insignia and a beaded military cap to illustrate the role of the warrior within the society, honour and prestige on the battlefield. Objects that represent diplomacy and peace treaties such as pipes complement items of bravery and honour such as clubs and pipe-tomahawks.
The exhibition will also display unique and fragile material from the British Museum collections for the first time including weapons, ceremonial costume and ledger drawings, as well as modern regalia of contemporary Native Americans, or ‘modern warriors’.
Lotherton HallThe ceremonial aspect of warrior societies, focusing on the link between ritual, tribal identity and war is explored through ceremonial rattles, dance gear, shirts, moccasins and a full modern Pow wow costume.
The exhibition makes full use of the British Museum’s large American collections and it also includes old photographs as well as a series of pictures of war dances among contemporary native Americans.
A blown up colour portrait of contemporary Assiniboine dancer Kevin Haywahe by Iroquois photographer Jeff Thomas will greet the visitors alongside three rare lithographs by painter George Catlin (ca. 1830s) that illustrate historical aspects of Plains warriors’ life and their appearances.
“This new exhibition will run alongside our already very popular ‘Native Americans of the Plains’ exhibition, which has been delighting visitors with a fascinating look into the life and culture of the first Americans,” said Leeds City Council curator of world cultures Antonia Lovelace.
(Photo credit - Returning the Gaze (detail). Assiniboine dancer Kevin Haywahe with face paint. (c) Jeff Thomas)