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Mother and Child / Stephen Mopope, August 27, 1898 - February 1974, Native American; Kiowa (Artist)


Mother and Child depicts a Kiowa (Cáuigù)1 woman carrying her child in a cradleboard. The mother’s scalp is decorated with yellow paint, and her cheeks and the child’s are adorned with red ocher. Her black wool blanket has a beaded blanket strip at the hemline, and her buckskin dress has been painted green and yellow and adorned with beadwork details. Her yellow-painted leggings have cut fringes along the tops.

Several details indicate she may have been Kiowa-Apache, including applications of paint on her dress hemline and the style of her leggings. Around her shoulders is a harness for the cradleboard, which has a wooden lattice frame decorated with feather plumes and paint, and a hood decorated with beaded fringe. The child, swaddled in a cream-colored cloth, is securely laced into the cradleboard behind painted buckskin laces. The mother stands with her back to the viewer, while the child’s gaze is directed toward the audience. This Kiowa Style painting is rendered without shading and emphasizes the two figures and the narrative of their regalia, adornment, and positionality.

—Jordan Poorman Cocker, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Indigenous Painting Collection Research, 2021

1 Cáuigù is the correct identity used by the Kiowa Tribe.

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Mother and Child
Stephen Mopope, August 27, 1898 - February 1974, Native American; Kiowa (Artist)
Native American; Kiowa
mid-20th century
tempera on paper
Portrait; single-sided 0.232-0.242mm orange, machine-made, wove paper. Uneven distribution of fibers in transmitted light.
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
0227.200; 23595
Not On View

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