Courting Robe Of Chief Blue Thunder

   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