k’úusey’ne sapoˀsaapóˀs (Woman's Saddle) Drawings

A series of detailed, technical drawings of the woman's saddle in the Wetxuuwíitin’ Collection made by Nakia Williamson-Cloud

When the Ohio Historical Society recalled the Spalding-Allen (Wetxuuwíitin’) Collection, the Nez Perce Tribe and the National Park Service thought that they collection may never return to the Nez Perce National Historical Park. On the eve of returning the collection, curator Bob Chenoweth invited Nez Perce to help with documentation.


Nakia Williamson-Cloud describes making these drawings:



"Bob Chenoweth, you know, the curator at that time, and he’s still there. He wanted to get as much documentation about the material culture, you know, it was being photographed. And it was being photographed again. But he also wanted some of this other more analytical, diagnostic type information. From kind of a tribal person. I did some research on it as well that went along with the illustrations. So that if we were to eventually, those items were to go back to Ohio, that we’d have good documentation that could be retained here."


Cultural Narrative: 

Nakia Williamson-Cloud describing the decorated fenders on the sides of the saddle:



"These big rawhide things that were attached below the saddle. There’s a lot of speculation, you know, on what those are. And I think for the tribe we’ve kind of, those are such old items that nobody really knows about those. Just whatever ethnographic information that existed at one point in time, you know, it’s lost. So we don’t have a lot of information about. So that’s like one of the things that were fairly unique. Whereas the saddle is, you know, for the most part the same type of saddle that a lot of the elders knew and had in their families."