mother earth's blessing
2009, oil, 48"h x 34"w
Indians of the Great Plains relied on trade for certain goods, especially tools and weapons of metal, even prior to the first contact with white traders. One such welcome innovation, that replaced using a paunch or rude rawhide container, was the boiling kettle made in cast iron or brass. The kettles first found their way west via the trading posts of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the American Fur Traders in the east followed suit. Soon, the kettles were found on the eastern fringes of the prairie tribes, and eventually in the intertribal trading centers of the Missouri River's "earth lodge people." Traded by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara, boiling kettles were dispersed virtually everywhere. The nomadic people's of the Plains relied upon hunting and gathering all that the prairie grass and water bountifully provided, and a simple kettle made women's chores much easier.