Nez Perce Plateau Fan

8" x 11"

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This fan depicts a Native American warrior, equipped with war lance and shield, riding fiercely into battle. The fan is decorated with a multitude of various colored beads, a prominent blue backdrop making up most of the fan. The Native warrior in the center is wearing a feathered headdress, and along with his mount is the only image suggested on the fan’s face. The fan measures (blank) from top to bottom and (blank) across. It has a wooden frame and is detailed by stringing beads on wire all over the frame.

The Plateau Tribes were many and varied, some of the more prominent being the Nez Perce, Flathead, Kutenai, Palus, Coeur D’Alene, Cayuse, and Kalispel. These tribes primarily lived in the central and southern region of what is present-day British Columbia. However, Plateau culture extended into western Montana, northern Idaho, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and northeast California.

Decorative fans were often made with wood, leather, and then adorned with feathers. Historically, this is the only way a fan would have been made, and bead work would not become common until contact with European settlers. Likely, this Plateau Fan was a decorative piece made long after Europeans and Native Americans had established trade.

Item #: 0041