Leeds: Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull artefacts go on display

Leeds City Council's curator of world cultures Antonia Lovelace puts the finishing touches to the 'Native Americans of the Plains' exhibition at Lotherton Hall.
Leeds City Council's curator of world cultures Antonia Lovelace puts the finishing touches to the 'Native Americans of the Plains' exhibition at Lotherton Hall.
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More than a century ago, legendary shootist Buffalo Bill Cody drew crowds of thousands when he brought his renowned Wild West show to Leeds.

Now bosses at Lotherton Hall are hoping to lasso their own big crowds with a special exhibition featuring some of the Old West’s most iconic characters.

Starting this week and running to the end of the year at the attraction in Aberford, the Native Americans of the Plains exhibition offers an insight into the life and culture of Americans from the era of the Indian Wars to the present day.

Exhibits on show include souvenirs of items used by Buffalo Bill as well as traditional warrior shirts and headdresses, horse equipment, women’s robes, moccasins, sacred pipes, tipi cloths, horse equipment and animal regalia.

It also features a belt worn by Lakota Sioux chief Sitting Bull, who masterminded the defeat of the US 7th Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel George Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876.

Visitors will also be able to try on some traditional plains American-style costumes.

And from June 18 to September 25, Lotherton Hall will also be displaying the British Museum touring exhibition: Warriors of the Plains, which includes modern pow-wow costumes and more historical items.

The exhibition has been jointly curated by Leeds City Council and Mark Sykes, a local Leeds collector, restorer, and maker of plains items.

A series of family and youth workshops including making dolls, dream catchers and dance sticks is planned during the exhibition’s run, alongside talks by experts.

Leeds City Council curator of world cultures Antonia Lovelace said: “We are all really looking forward to this exhibition opening. Any fans of First American history will love seeing all the great items on display as well as those with extra special significance like Sitting Bull’s belt and the Buffalo Bill souvenirs. We think visitors will really enjoy it.”

Buffalo Bill’s show first came to England in 1887 and was performed in Keighley and Leeds.

For more information, contact 0113 281 3259 or visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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