New exhibit at Museum of the Rockies showcases Crow culture
BOZEMAN – The Museum of the Rockies has been a permanent home and home to countless artifacts from around the world, ranging from contemporary children’s books to 65 million year old dinosaur bones.
But currently on display at the museum, it is perhaps the most special and meaningful exhibit to date.
“It’s back to basics,” says Michael Fox, historical curator at the Museum of the Rockies.
What Fox is referring to is a carefully curated collection of historical and contemporary pieces belonging to the Apsaalooke Nation, or Crow Tribe, of Montana.
Nine Sanders is a curator, writer, historian and cultural consultant, originally from Crow Agency. She is the curator of the exhibit, Apsaalooke Women and Warriors, and did so at the request of the Chicago Field Museum.
“The objects inside are meant to explain this worldview and this cosmology, which is so diverse and multi-dimensional that we wouldn’t be able to capture it all in one exhibit,” Sanders said.
The Museum of the Rockies, like all of Bozeman, sits on the traditional homelands of the Apsaalooke, Tséstho’e, Amskapi Piikuni and Séliš peoples. The Museum presents itself as a guest on the territory.
The Apsaalooke Women and Warriors exhibit is a mix of historic and contemporary, featuring cribs, regalia, ensembles and regalia, as well as art, music and fashion from top Crow artists from around the world. today.
Sanders says she worked with many members of the Crow community to cultivate the collection, which aims to inspire the Crow people to pursue artistic opportunities and preserve their history.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the exhibit – seven Crow war shields that returned to their homelands after 120 years.
“Our sacred objects have free will and they leave us and come back to us on their own accord. So it would be understood that it is meant to be that these objects came here, these war shields chose to come home,” Sanders said.
Sanders says the seven war shields were among the original 77 war shields collected by Stephen C. Simms, an anthropologist, when he came to the Crow Nation around 1900. Many shields were traded with other museums, and others remained at the Field Museum for a century.
“The return of the shields…for the Crow people it is a historic event. For the Museum of the Rockies, this is a historic event.
The Apsalooke Women and Warriors exhibit is on view at the Museum of the Rockies through December 31, 2022.