In this tender picture of a wife saying goodbye to her husband as he goes off to work, interesting details stand out to explain more about the subjects. The use of bison skins for clothing, a headdress with eagle feathers and a horse show that this scene would take place in an indigenous tribe on the American Great Plains. Some of the more well-known tribes were: the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Lakota, Kiowa Apache and Cree. The over 50 tribes are usually divided into either the Northern vs. Southern Plains tribe, and nomadic vs. semi-sedentary.
We can also know that this picture takes place after the 1500s when horses were introduced to North America by Spanish explorers. According to Wikipedia, “The horse enabled the Plains Indians to gain their subsistence with relative ease from the seemingly limitless buffalo herds. Riders were able to travel faster and farther in search of bison herds and to transport more goods, thus making it possible to enjoy a richer material environment than their pedestrian ancestors. For the Plains peoples, the horse became an item of prestige as well of utility. They were extravagantly fond of their horses and the lifestyle they permitted.” With this background knowledge, we now know that the man in this picture is leaving what should be a successful hunting trip in which he will bring home bison which will amply provide meat and useful materials for his family.
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