BUFFALO BILL HISTORICAL CENTER
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and natural history—into the rich panorama that is the American West. Its Plains Indian Museum has the Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, an exhibition of objects of the Native people of the Great Plains dating back to a period that artist Paul Dyck identified as the “Buffalo Culture” era, the late 1700s to pre-1890s. The Dyck Collection, acquired by the center in 2007, “has long been considered by art historians, ethnologists, and historians to be the most comprehensive privately-held assemblage of Plains Indian arts and related historical materials documenting the lives and cultures of Native people of the Great Plains,” said Emma I. Hansen, Plains Indian Museum curator. The collection itself—started by Dyck’s father in 1886—includes clothing, eagle feather bonnets, bear claw necklaces, buffalo hide tipis and tipi furnishings, shields, cradles, peace medals, moccasins, and the like. Some of the collection’s first objects were placed on exhibit in 2008, the first time any part of the collection had been on view for the general public. “The artifacts come from several different tribes,” Hansen said, “and because many were made prior to the late-nineteenth-century reservation period, they fill in many gaps in our collection and provide continuity in showing the historical transitions of Plains Indian people.” The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection was acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe.
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