War Shield with Amulet
Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3

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Plains Indian (Mandan) War Shield with Amulet

Plains Indian (Mandan) War Shield with Amulet


Early rawhide shields were large to protect the body during foot battles. Eventually horses were used more in combat and shields became smaller to be more easily handled. Shields were made from the neck skin of a buffalo bull where the hide is often an inch thick. The hide was dried either concave or convex. The shield curved inward when large effigies were hung on the face of the shield so a buckskin cover would not bulge when the cover was in place. Shields bent outward if the owner thought the curvature deflected objects better. However, it was believed that the medicine or power of the object painted upon the surface protected the owner from harm and not necessarily the thick shield. Usually shield designs were painted according to oneís dream or vision or purchased from a medicine man.

This shield has an ancient pattern of green rays on one half and grizzly bear tracks on the other. An amulet of grizzly fur and a bearís tooth are attached at the top.


Plains Indian (Mandan) War Shield with War Club


Artifacts by Sioux Replications / All images © Franz Brown

Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3

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