This is an important and authentic circa 1890 Northern Cheyenne Native American Indian polychrome painted stretched hide rum from the Ghost Dance movement. The piece was collected from a Cheyenne Indian at the Pine Ridge reservation named “Many Strikes” by Reverend Joseph War. The drum spent almost 80 years on display at the Yankton Indian College Museum in Yankton, South Dakota until the college closed in 1984 and sold off the museum collection in 1987. The Yankton Indian College, founded by Reverend Ward, was the first Native American Indian College in the United States. Reverend Joseph Ward was a noted early Sioux historian and collector. The shield shows a wetted and bent wood frame with a wetted and stretched Buffalo parfleche rawhide front. The entire piece shows a polychrome pigment mineral painted scene having excellent documented Ghost Dance symbols being hand drawn and painted such as the half moon, four-point morning star, a large waterbird on the front all done in colors of yellow, black, red and blue. The war shield still shows the original hand strap still attached to the back and a sinew sewn finish, a true attribute to the pieces early age. Framing the top edge of the shield above the symbols shows a small hand cut long Indian tanned hide fringe which are secured through small pierced holes in the parfleche, this can also be seen at the center top and bottom where a drop of fringe is seen. Some of the fringe has broken off with age and also the paint has some areas of wear fading and flaking from age, but overall has been very well preserved in museum quality condition. Provenance: From the previous collection of Reverend Joseph Ward, on display at the Yankton Indian College Museum, from the previous collections of Sanford Lyman and Wellington. This shield is from the same collection as the Arapaho Ghost Dance Drum sold in our 6/3/2017 sale for $7,749.00, the Sioux Ghost Dance Holy Bear Shield from our 8/25/2018 sale for $5,781.00, the Sioux Ghost Dance Fast Thunder piece from our 4/29/2017 sale for $5,535.00 and the Arapaho Ghost Dance Shield from our 7/21/2018 sale for $4,551.00 (all shown with premiums). Authentic Ghost Dance Relics are exceedingly rare and desirable with this shield truly being one of the finest we have offered for sale. Measures overall 23 ¼ inches in diameter.
For a complete representation of condition and for additional images please call 800-686-4216. It is the buyer’s responsibility to view each image and preview the item to determine condition.