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Quilled Leadership Shirt
Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3
 

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Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt
Before right side shoulder quillwork added.

 Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt
After right side shoulder quillwork added.


The back of the shirt has horse quirts depicting horses either captured or given away. A row of stick figure people are lined in a row of which the meaning is only known to the drawer. Also near the top are half circles which are horse tracks or people and horizontal coup lines.

Mandan

This magnificent buckskin shirt is made with the legs of the animal intact which hang as pendants at the lower corners. The image on the left shows the shirt before the left side quill strip and fringe were added. The war record is prominent on the front showing coup lines and an attack upon an enemy. A dog soldier is shown naked and has a sash for attaching to the ground where he would fight to the death if his side was losing. It is assumed this is illustrating the wearer of the shirt.


Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt#10

The quilled strips on the shirt are double-quill zig-zag, a difficult and time-consuming early style. The hair ties are human from enemies or donated by relatives. The horse hair indicates horses stolen in raids.

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt


Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt

The figure with the red ochre sash indicates a dog soldier.

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt

Touches of blue ochre were added to symbolize the sky. (Ochre is colored clay dug from hill sides.)

Clay comes in a number of colors such as brown,  yellow and red. These were mixed with hide glue and water to adhere them to the leather to avoid smudging.

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt

Plains Indian (Mandan) Quilled Leadership Shirt
The fringe was dampened with water, pulled and twisted to give it a more interesting appearance.   


Hair ties are wrapped with red, white, yellow and purple porcupine quills. 

 

Artifacts by Sioux Replications / All images Franz Brown


Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3

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