Quirt handle

Eastern Plains, probably Meskwaki, Native American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

An artist preserved the natural curve of an elk’s antler for the basic shape of this quirt (riding whip) handle. He enhanced it with carvings of feathers, headdresses, and buffalo hooves, filling each with red or black pigment. The object exemplifies the beauty of many of the small tools produced on the Plains in the 1800s. The quirt originally had a wrist strap and a heavy lash.

Quirt handle, Elk antler and pigment, Eastern Plains, probably Meskwaki, Native American

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