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Padded saddle

Tsuu T´ina (Sarcee) padded saddle
ca. 1880
Probably Canada
Hide, wool, glass beads, brass bells, yarn
64 x 42 x 10 cm
Abel E. Brooks Collection

Pad saddles, as opposed to frame saddles, are made from a bag of soft leather stuffed with grass, buffalo or horse hair, or other soft materials. A girth and stirrups are fastened to a strong leather band which transverses the pad. Pad saddles were used extensively by Métis, Blackfoot, Assiniboine, Cree, Dakota, and Tsuu T´ina (Sarsi) riders, and they could be beautifully decorated with quill or beadwork. The delicate and beautifully laid out floral pattern on this padded saddle is executed with facetted beads.

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