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Man's Shirt

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Crow Artist



Man's Shirt, c. 1870-1879
Beads on Hide
x 25 9/16 in. ( x 65 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2005
Buckskin shirt with fringed sleeves and bottom edge. Predominantly blue beadwork bands down the front, back, and sleeves. Beaded rectangular collar with human hair tassels. Ermine skins hang down the front and sleeves. Southern Plains style: painted blue bullets follow natural contours of the hide. Heavy beaded bands with rectangular patterns in overlay stitch. Sides not sewn.

Materials
native leather, glass beads, human hair, horsehair, ermine skin and paint

Attribution
See R.Conn report (1978).

Commentary
Distinctive shirts were worn by established military and civil leaders of native American groups in the central and northern Plains. The blue painting on the body of the shirt symbolizes bullets, indicating that this shirt was probably worn by a Pipe Holder, a leader of a successful war party. It is believed that the locks of human hair used for embellishment were obtained from relatives rather than from slain enemies. Twocomplete skins of large animals were used in the construction of the shirt, with the skin of the hind legs left dangling at the bottom.
-from the Native American Art from the Permanent Collection catalog, 1979

Bibliography
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 50 (illustrated/bw) fig. 141.

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