Miscellaneous, Bag, Beaded, Madonna of the Plains, Artisan, 227
ONE OF A KIND WORK OF ART FROM ANGELA SWEDBERG.
There are only two known photos in existence of Cynthia Ann Parker, and we find this one of her and her daughter particularly moving. It depicts her shortly after her re-capture by the Texas Rangers en route to being returned to her birth family; her hair is cut, a Comanche sign of mourning, and she’s feeding her daughter “Prairie Flower”, the only one of her children she was able to take with her. It’s a powerful image and we felt it needed to be paid homage within the Cynthia collection, so we commissioned world-renowned beadwork artist and restorer of Native American artifacts, Angela Swedberg, and she created this work of art.
The bag is ochre painted, brain-tanned deer hide, hand-beaded with antique Italian seed beads, some more modern “Picasso” finished beads, and dentalium shells, which were and still are a prized trade shell. The silver spots are antiques and in the same style as those found on high-top moccasins of Comanche women.
“I was thinking to the ‘Madonna of the Plains’ and how Cynthia Parker to me, better represents this image,” Angela explained. “She has many descendants among the Comanche people, who hold her in high praise. I see her as a heroine and not a tragic figure. I changed her daughter who was wrapped in a blanket in the original photo, to one of her carrying her in a beaded baby board; the ultimate symbol of a mother’s love for her child, to wrap her up and protect her in beauty.”
- materials: tanned deer hide, beading, calico lining, shell, studs
- dimensions: 10" x 10.5"
- weight: 238 grams
- style number: JM227