War Shirt (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

Educational
1850-1880
Crow
Elk or antelope hide, porcupine quills, wool cloth, ermine, horsehair, glass beads, pigment
Montana, Wyoming, Great Plains, United States
Overall: 56 × 43 × 3 in. (142.24 × 109.22 × 7.62 cm)
2016.127
Not on view
This war shirt was fashioned in the poncho style of the Central Plains and made from two antelope hides. Upon butchering, the hides of the antelopes were softened by a tanning process using the animal’s brains and liver, and were scraped free of membrane and hair. The front legs of each hide serve as the open sleeves. The hind legs from the bands hanging from the shirt bottom. The shirt was further decorated with quillwork strips that conceal the seams, and trimmed with horse hair and ermine tassels. The sleeves and upper half of the shirt have been stained blue-green, a decorating motif popular among Plains tribes during the latter half of the 19th century.
From the Robert and Nancy Nooter Collection, Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Hear My Voice: Native American Art of the Past and Present
VMFA: 8/19/17 – 11/26/17
Museum of Shenandoah Valley: 2/17/18 – 7/22/18
Taubman Museum of Art: 9/29/18 – 01/06/19
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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