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Woman’s Saddle

Nez Perce National Historical Park, National Park Service

Nez Perce National Historical Park, National Park Service

Horses were reintroduced to North America by the Spaniards. Many of the horse accoutrements, such as this saddle, reflect the Spanish roots of the horse. The two high projections at the front and back of the saddle are reminiscent of Spanish designs. The tree of this women’s saddle is made from elk antler pieces and wood. Rawhide was then stretched over the frame that in turn was covered with brain-tanned buckskin. The fenders are bison hide. Some of this saddle was made in the 1870s or 80s. It was remade in the 1950s, adding newer elements to the old. The stirrups are made of rawhide with wood footholds. Paint, tacks, wool trade cloth and glass trade beads complete the decorative elements.

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