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Jul 29, 2015

Hair-Pipe Necklace

Hair-Pipe Necklace

early 1900s

Cow bone beads, glass beads, brass beads, silk ribbon, metal coin, native-tanned hide or rawhide stringing, vegetable-tanned hide separators

Overall: 236.2 cm (93 in.)

Educational Purchase Fund 1932.50

Did you know?

Among the most spectacular of Plains ornaments are men’s breastplates and women’s necklaces made of cylindrical beads.

Description

When Europeans first arrived, Plains people wore pipe-shaped beads of shell, bird bone, or other materials in their hair. It may be for this reason that white travelers applied the term “hair pipes” to the pipe-shaped beads in such necklaces as this one. Natives eventually adopted ornaments made of European pipe-shaped beads, which, after about 1880, were machine-made from cow bones. Among the most spectacular of such ornaments are men’s breastplates and women’s necklaces that sometimes fell well below the knees.

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