"In the Cheyenne camp, the man was the provider, the one who procured the food and most of the material for the needs of life. while the woman bore the children, cared for the home and thus did her share of the most
important work that the Indians knew - the promotion of the tribal welfare. The man and the woman were partners, sharing equally in the work of the family, and often in a deep and lasting affection which each bore toward the other-an affection which,
beginning in youth with love and marriage, lasted often to the end of life. ..."
-George Bird Grinnell, (an early observer and chronicler of the
Cheyenne and other plains tribes)
It is true that the woman's life was hard, the labor often unending drudgery, but her value to the tribe was duly recognized. Poor indeed was the man who had no wife to tend his home, to cook for him, to raise children who would make him proud. She had certain rights. For one thing, she ran the home. She decided where the tepee was to be placed. The husband furnished the skins to cover it and the poles which supported it, but in terms of property, the tepee was hers, along with most of what was in it.
To the wives fell the duty of making the clothes and the household equipment, parfleches, and the like. They took pride in their ability to decorate these with paints, porcupine quills, and, as they became available, colorful trade beads. Just as the men had their warrior societies, in many tribes women had societies devoted to excellence in homemaking crafts. Sometimes competitions were organized among the women. -The above text as well as some text on the following pages are excerpts from the book "The Art of Howard Terpning"
below are details of Howard Terpning limited editions depicting
the Native American woman. Click to view larger and additional information.
and availability on these and other
prints by Howard Terpning we have in stock
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