Hide Shirt

Hide Shirt

c. 1890

Hide, pigment, glass beads, human hair

Overall: 97.8 x 150 cm (38 1/2 x 59 1/16 in.)

Bequest of David S. McMillan 1984.1046

Description

Traditionally, only Lakota (Sioux) head chiefs had the right to wear painted shirts, an honor they earned through sacrifice and bravery but lost by failing in their responsibilities. By the time this example was created, European Americans had confined the Lakota to reservations, and painted shirts had become the privilege of battle veterans rather than of active warriors. Family members probably donated the locks of hair, each representing a war exploit.

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