Description: This leather saddle is a Cheyenne design with painted geometric designs that once decorated its straps. The Cheyenne used to occupy the area of the Great Plains and they were at times allied with the Lakota people, introducing them to horse culture and siding with them at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. But intermittently through history the Cheyenne were at war with their neighbors the Lakota and the Ojibwa, who were migrating into Cheyenne land. The tribe was split and relocated to two different regions: the Northern Cheyenne and Southern Cheyenne.
This saddle was allegedly used in 1876 during Dull Knife’s expedition. Dull Knife, a leader of the Northern Cheyenne, led an attempt by the Cheyenne to ride up from their Cherokee Country in Oklahoma and take back the traditional Cheyenne homeland. They were stopped by the U.S. Calvary near Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Saddles of this type would have been used by women, as men tended to ride bareback or with much smaller, padded saddles.
Donor: Lauree Inman-Johnson