This courting robe was owned by Chief Blue Thunder, a Brule leader of the Ring Thunder camp on today's Rosebud reservation in the 1870s. Such robe was often for courting, when meeting a girl at a lodge door to place it over their heads for privacy. It was later worn on special occasions by Blue Thunder to identify him as a Brule chief.
The blanket is 77 inches long by 64 inches wide with a 52-inch beaded strip down the center on a red wool trade blanket. The side edges have yellow cloth added, an early Sioux characteristic. The blue ribbon trim is a color to represent "thunder" and the Thunder Being. It also illustrates the chief's name, Blue Thunder.
Larry Belitz, Plains Indian Material Culture Consultant