Visitors have until Sunday, June 2, to view 12 loaned objects representing unique personal items from the turn of the century at the Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum in Ignacio.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center staff will retrieve the collection on June 3. Museum Executive Director Nathan Strong Elk singled out a tobacco bag with attached case and glass beads from the late 1800s as a favorite.
“The pipe is our sacred connection and tobacco our most powerful medicine,” he said. “This piece shows respect and a relationship to something in the past that is vital and used in our culture today.”
Museum staffers contacted the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center about the potential loan in spring 2010. Following a year of contract negotiations, selection of specific items and conservation assessments, the items have been a part of the main gallery at the museum for the past two years.
Of note are a war shield from the mid-to-late 1800s, a woman’s buckskin dress with beadwork from 1890, and a saddlebag from between 1880 and 1900.
One object, a man’s vest from 1900, is on special loan from Colorado College. Two cradleboards, a vest, moccasins and other bags round out the loaned collection.
The Colorado Springs FAC acquired these objects over the course of approximately 60 years, some as donations and others purchased by the museum.