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Home Places to Visit Museums More Paul Dyck Plains Indian Treasures Go on Exhibit at Buffalo Bill Historical Center

More Paul Dyck Plains Indian Treasures Go on Exhibit at Buffalo Bill Historical Center

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Additional historical treasures from the Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection are now on exhibit at the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.

A selection of 13 different objects never before seen by the public are on display including "some interesting and beautiful examples of Native art," said BBHC Curator Emma Hansen.

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The selection includes moccasins, clothing, a cradle, drum, shield, and a horse mask, among other objects representing cultures from the Plains and Plateau regions, which can be seen in the museum's Land of Many Gifts gallery.

"The pieces we have chosen are a small portion of the collection," Hansen said. "We wanted to give people a good sample of what we've been working on."

For example, a Lakota doll in the exhibit is in remarkable condition despite the fact that it's more than 125 years old. The doll dressed in the traditional clothing of a Lokota man with extraordinary detail reflects the changing styles of the late 19th century when trade goods, including glass beads, wool cloth, and metal became available. The doll also represents the fine artistry of the maker.

The collection itself started by Dyck's father in 1886 includes clothing, eagle feather bonnets, bear claw necklaces, buffalo hide tipis and tipi furnishings, shields, cradles, peace medals, moccasins, and much more. It dates from the late 1700s to pre-1890s, a period identified by Paul Dyck as the "Buffalo Culture" era.

Some of the collection's first objects were placed on exhibit during the summer of 2008, the first time any part of the collection-totaling more than 2,000 artifacts-had been on view for the general public.

"The artifacts come from several different tribes," she said, "and because many were made prior to the late-nineteenth-century reservation period, they fill in many gaps in our collection and provide continuity in showing the historical transitions of Plains Indian people."

Earlier this year, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center announced that it had been awarded a Save America's Treasures grant for the preservation of the collection.

The $350,000 grant provides the funds necessary to continue processing the collection, making it accessible to researchers, tribal members, and scholars, as well as to improve storage conditions for its proper care and preservation.

In addition, the grant funds a research associate position to coordinate the cataloguing and storage of the collection as staff moves forward with exhibition and publication plans.

As more objects from the collection become available, they will be rotated within this small exhibit. The museum plans a major traveling exhibition of the Dyck collection in the future.

The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection was acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson family and the estate of Margaret S. Coe. More information on the Plains Indian Museum and this collection can be found at www.bbhc.org/pim .


 
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