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Native American Church bolo tie / Rusty Lowe


An Oklahoma-style bolo tie. The sliding panel is oval shaped and bends along the vertical axis inward toward the wearer. It is covered in white seed beads and "cut" beads, except for the image of a waterbird in its center. It is composed of seed beads-red outlined in medium blue, with the tail of the bird also containing yellow and orange beads. The "tie" is a length of braided nylon rope ending in a pair of nickel silver cones (with a simple stamped design). The body of the tie is covered in beadwork executed in the "gourd stitch" technique. White and then medium blue are the dominant colors, with stripes of yellow, orange, and red also present. The design is a classic rainbow-stripe characteristic of much Oklahoma beadwork. The oval disk has white buckskin showing on its backside. The disk attaches to the tie with a tight sleeve of commercial elastic of the type used as a sewing notion. The material used as a stiffener for the disk is unknown.

Curatorial Remarks

Bolo tie. Would have been worn to a peyote meeting and maybe out in public if the person would want to identify as a peyote member. But you certainly see it in a lot of peoples houses.

Tags: waterbird, Peyote
People: Rusty Lowe, Seminole, Muscogee (Creek), Native American Church
Places: Southeast, Oklahoma
Purpose: domestic, ceremonial use

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

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Native American Church bolo tie
Rusty Lowe (Artist)
Native American; Muscogee (Creek), Seminole
hide, beads, nickel, silver, thread, nylon, elastic
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Purchased with funds provided by the Frankie Van Johnson Fund
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
Not On View

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