Boy's Vest

Boy's Vest

c. 1880


Average: 45.7 x 38.8 cm (18 x 15 1/4 in.)

James Albert and Mary Gardiner Ford Memorial Fund 1982.62



For centuries, beautiful garments and objects have held great meaning for the native groups of the Great Plains. For instance, the Lakota (Sioux) ceremonially intone something sacred wears me. That is, humans don powerful garments but are worn, animated, and protected by the sacred forces within their materials and imagery. By 1700 European Americans began to make their presence felt in the region, and Plains people creatively adopted European materials and garment types into their wardrobes. By 1870 most Plains people had been forced onto reservations, and traditional life shattered—especially for men. The garments on display here all were made after that date.

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