Matchis-Skank, Tabalwatang and Bashicta-Nogueb, Delegation to Washington, 1901National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 581-B-1
Matchis-Skank, Tabalwatang and Bashicta-Nogueb, Delegation to Washington, 1901
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 581-B-1

Art on the Prairies

In the 1830s, many tribes from the eastern and south-eastern United States were forcibly relocated to reservations in Kansas and Oklahoma, where they found themselves in close contact with the tribes of the south-eastern Plains. From the mixture of these immigrant and local arts, a new art style emerged called Prairie-style that reflected the efforts to create a generalized "Indian" identity in the face of unrelenting government pressure to abandon native custom. Prairie-style art included textile work but is mostly identified with highly abstracted beaded floral motifs. Despite the turmoil of the 19th century, women from across the Plains created some of the most innovative beadwork designs during the latter half of the century.

This map depicts the upheaval created by the relocation to the Plains of eastern and southern peoples. Starting with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, an estimated one hundred thousand people were forced to resettle west of the Mississippi by the middle of the century.
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