The Fashionable Horse: Ute Saddlebags and Saddle Blankets 1870–1925

Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Research Paper

Degree Name



Art & Art History

First Advisor

Annette Stott


Saddle blankets, Indian bead work, Ute Indians, Social life and customs, Bead work


This research paper examines the creation, design, and functions of ten Ute double saddlebags and four beaded Ute saddle blankets fabricated between 1870 and 1925. Based on this sample and comparison with additional Basin and Plains tribal dressings, it appears that Ute saddlebags and blankets possess a combination of characteristics that reflect Ute territory, lifestyle, and aesthetics. These attributes, including fabrication from hide; similar rectangular dimensions; simple geometric beadwork patterns that emphasize triangles; preference for blue, white, and yellow beads; largely solid colored backgrounds; and back entries into the bags, work together to create a style that is specifically Ute.


DU faculty and students may access digitized MRPs by logging in with their DU ID in the Library's Catalog. Those not affiliated with DU may request digitized or microfilmed MRPs through interlibrary loan. Hard copies of MRPs are available to use by appointment in the Art Office in the Shwayder Art Building on campus.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

This document is currently not available here.