White Buffalo Horn Ladle

Oglala Lakota
Lakota (Teton Sioux)


late 19th century

American bison horn and leather

Overall: 17 5/16 × 3 11/16 in. (44 × 9.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Glover Street Hastings III



Place Made: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, United States, North America


19th century

Object Name

Tools and Equipment: Food Service

Research Area

Native American

Native American: Plains

Not on view


Kevin Pourier is one of only a few artists today working with incised buffalo (American bison) hornas a medium, and because buffalo do not shed their horns, his ability to work with this material is limited. Creating spoons and vessels, Pourier reinvigorates an artistic practice rooted in Lakota subsistence lifeways with his detailed carvings. The addition of complementary materials introduces striking imagery to inspire thought, growth, and learning. 

Most buffalo ranchers raise their buffalo for meat and discard everything else. Additionally, the large bulls are kept as herd bulls, and if they are butchered, their heads are usually kept as trophies. Traditionally, Northern Plains peoples used every part of the buffalo . . . nothing went to waste. The hides were used to make drums and Tipis, the horn caps were used to make horn spoons, cups, and adornment. The bones were used to make sleds, children’s toys, and game pieces. —Kevin Pourier

From the 2022 exhibition Unbroken: Native American Ceramics, Sculpture, and Design, curated by Dillen Peace '19, Native American Art Intern and Sháńdíín Brown '20, Native American Art Intern 

Course History

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2022

Writing Program 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Winter 2023

Writing Program 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Winter 2023

Exhibition History

Unbroken: Native American Ceramics, Sculpture, and Design, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 22, 2022-March 12, 2023.


Purported to have belonged to Crazy Horse (1840-1877); collected by Glover Street Hastings III, West Newton, Massachusetts and Bridgeton, Maine, 1920's-1930's; bequeathed to his daughter, Carlena Hastings Redfield (1888-1981), 1949; bequeathed to present collection [under the terms of her father's will], 1981.

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