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Saddle Pad

Nez Perce National Historical Park, National Park Service

Nez Perce National Historical Park, National Park Service

This Nez Perce saddle pad is made of buckskin, stuffed with grass, though, sometimes buffalo hair was used. The saddle is laced to form a center and thigh pads. There are buckskin tabs on each side to attach the cinch and sometimes short stirrups were added. It is beaded in a typical Columbia Plateau floral design with seed beads. These saddles were used by men and were popular among the Blackfoot, Nez Perce, Atsina, Mandan, Assiniboin and Hidatsa. There are descriptions of pad saddles being used on buffalo hunts on the Plains. They were sometimes taken, unpadded, on horse-stealing expeditions and used after the horses were stolen.

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