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Courting Fan

Dakota (Eastern Sioux)

Not on view

A bull elk and his band of cows are incised on one side of this wood fan. Around the rim of the reverse, thirty-four abstract human figures join hands, and sixteen long, pointed forms radiate from the center. Perhaps these elongated shapes represent reflected rays of light, a reference to the all-powerful Sun. Members of the Elk Dreamer’s Society regarded the elk as a symbol of male power, and one of the members likely carried this unusual fan in dances.

Courting Fan, Wood (pine), pigment, Dakota (Eastern Sioux)

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