Native American Heritage Month – Tule Ducks

For this week of Native American Heritage Month we’re talking about tule ducks. Tule ducks are Nevada’s state artifact and have been made by Native peoples in the Great Basin for thousands of years. Traditionally, the decoys were covered in duck skins (left), so they’re more lifelike. However, modern artisans generally leave the ducks’ bodies uncovered and fashion beaks from tule.

Color photo of 3 duck decoys made of tule, a pale-colored reed, sitting on white gravel with a blue background. The tules are tied together and cut in such a way that their shape resembles that of a duck. The decoy furthest to the left has a redhead duck skin, with a reddish brown head, black neck, and grey body covering it. The three ducks are labeled from left to right, C, I, and F with squares of blue paper

Decoy C was made by Ivan George c. 1969, I was made by Wuzzie George in the same year, and F was made by Martin George.

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