04-053; Native American Couple

Janet E. Finley Collection of Quilt History Photographs
Silver Gelatin Print c. 1907
Photographer: Unknown
Size: 2.5" x 4.25"

An interesting photo album acquired from an estate sale of a Missoula, Montana ranching family is the source for this unique image of two Native Americans, one dressed in traditional dress and the other wrapped in a quilt. The seller identified them as Salish/Flathead Indians, probably from the Arlee, Montana, area. The occasion was a 4th of July Pow Wow held at the Keith family ranch. The Flatheads call themselves "Salish," which means "the people." The quilt consists of a pieced block alternating with a plain fabric block. There is no outside border, but a rather wide binding is in evidence. Barbara Brackman, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, categorized the block as "unequal Nine Patch with a small center square." Brackman attributes the pattern name, Butterfly at the Cross, to a Clara Stone pattern established in 1906, in Stone's Practical Needlework: Quilt Patterns.

-- With permission of the publisher, excerpted from Janet E. Finley, Quilts in EveryDay Life 1855-1955 (Schiffer Publishing, 2012).

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