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Greater Yellowstone Region & Native Arts

There's not much of the flora and fauna of the Greater Yellowstone Region that escapes the Northern Plains Indians. For generations, their clothing, regalia, housing, tools, household items, weapons, and more, either used plant or animal life in construction, or featured them in the artwork. Within these objects from the Plains Indian Museum Collection are hides, fur, quills, talons, and the like. Look at the designs, too. How do they remind you of the natural world?

A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309


NA.204.2
Sioux | South Dakota | Ghost...
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NA.204.2 | ca. 1890 | L: 35.5 in, sleeve to sleeve: 67 in, body width: 27.5 in | Gift of The New Hampshire Historical Society | Dress and Adornment - Religious Attire. Ghost dance shirt - muslin shirt, long sleeved, hand-sewn with black thread, self-fringed at side and underarms seams, shoulder seams, hem, sleeve ends and neck edge, muslin fringe V sewn at front and back, gathered at sleeve ends and neck with fringed slit at back neck. Shirt is colored with red ochre (possibly) in bands at sleeve ends and elbows, alonge fringes and inside front and back V's, front V has an uncolored horizontal crescent moon in lower point. Front and back V points have a single eagle feather and a bunch of blue and yellow dyed breath feathers tied to cloth and a green dyed twisted thong. Tied at top of each shoulder with a twisted green dyed thong is a single eagle spike feather. Tied at underarm seam at the elbow is a bundle of green dyed thongs with small brown feathers and split owl feathers, sinew wrapped to ends of thongs. Tied at underarm seam at each sleeve end with a green dyed twisted thong is a single eagle spike feather sinew wrapped to thong ends. | NA.204.2back.JPG | NA.204.2view1.JPG | NA.204.2view2.JPG | NA.204.2dtl.JPG | NA.204.2.jpg | Ghost Dance shirt | muslin | eagle | feather | pigment | owl | thread | hand sewn | feathers | breath | Sioux | South Dakota

NA.205.127
Blackfeet | Northern Plains ...
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NA.205.127 | ca. 1860 | L: 18 in, H: 18.5 in, Diameter: 28 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Stand up style Blackfeet feather bonnet. Rawhide strip is basis for headpiece band (no crown), covered with red wool cloth on exterior, and cotton muslin on interior. A strip of tanned hide is attached to two sides on interior, as way to keep securely on the head. Front edge and around crown is tanned hide, back portion are two flaps that meet and are backed and edged in cotton cloth. Front headband has two horizontal rows of silver colored metal tacks, 28 total (one replacement). Base of head piece has bald eagle feathers attached - base of quill wrapped in rawhide, the whole wrapped in red wool cloth, then wrapped at top and bottom in pericardium strips. A hide strip is strung over and under between all feathers near the center to keep in place. Base of wrapping has short ermine strips attached and red feather fluffs inserted, and brass bells attached (13 now in place). Each of the 30 feathers have been ochred, and some have been trimmed to a narrower profile. Tip of each feather has ermine tuft adhered to exterior along with red feather fluff and horse hair tuft. On either side of head band are ermine tubes, wrapped in same manner as feathers with some red feather fluffs. Ten (10) on LFP and nine (9) on RFP. | NA.205.127.v2.jpg | NA.205.127.v3.jpg | NA.205.127.v6.jpg | NA.205.127.v1.jpg | NA.205.127.v4.jpg | NA.205.127.v5.jpg | NA.205.127.v7.jpg | Feather bonnet | wool cloth | tanned hide | rawhide | brass bells | Horse Hair | bald eagle feathers | dyed feather fluffs | metal | adhesive | ochre | ermine | Cotton cloth | pericardium | Blackfeet | Northern Plains | Amoskapi Pikuni

NA.108.152.1
Crow | Northern Plains | Aps...
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NA.108.152.1 | ca. 1850 | H: 20.75 in, width: 21 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Bison rawhide shield cover painted with tanned hide cover embellished with painted bison, eagle feathers, bison tail, and snow geese feathers. Shield and cover by same artist in Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. | NA.108.152.1-.2.jpg | NA.108.152.JPG | shield cover | snow goose feather | sinew | glass beads | bison rawhide | porcupine quills | wool cloth | pigment | tanned hide | golden eagle feathers | bison tail | Crow | Northern Plains | Apsáalooke

NA.108.17
Hidatsa | Northern Plains | ...
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NA.108.17 | ca. 1865 | Diameter: 18.75 in | Adolf Spohr Collection, Gift of Larry Sheerin | Utensils and implements - Fighting (could also be used for ritual ceremonies). Shield cover - tanned with lower half painted black with green animal figure painted in center front. Eight eagle feathers attached to bottom edge with stems wrapped with sinew. | Book: Giving Voice to Bear: North American Indian Myths, Rituals, and Images of the Bear by David Rockwell; Roberts Rinehart Publishers, Lanham, MD; 2003; cover illustration | na.108.17.jpg | NA.108.17.jpg | NA.108.17.JPG | Animal | bear | shield cover | eagle feathers | sinew | deer hide | pigment | tanned | Hidatsa | Northern Plains

NA.102.11
Northern Plains | arrow | pa...
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NA.102.11 | ca. 1870 | L: 25.25 in | Utensils and implements - Hunting (could also be used for fighting). Arrow - Sinew wrapped wooden arrow with metal trade tip, eagle feathers up shaft, single color band (purple) at top. | NA.102.11.JPG | arrow | paint | metal | feathers | wood | sinew | eagle | Northern Plains

NA.203.159
Northern Plains | Blackfeet ...
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NA.203.159 | H: 4.5 in | Irving H. "Larry" Larom Collection | Dress and Adornment - Personal Adornment. Hat - head band shaped fur hat with fur extension on back, tanned interior with paint fragments visible. Ten eagle feathers attached. | NA.203.159.JPG | hat | feathers | paint | Badger | hair | bald eagle | hide | Northern Plains | Blackfeet

NA.205.78
Sioux | Northern Plains | Bu...
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NA.205.78 | ca. 1860 | cap circumference: 25.5 in, cap height to horn tips: 14 in | Chandler-Pohrt Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Pohrt | Dress and Adornment - Status Symbols and Insignia of Office. Split horn headdress - brain tanned buckskin cap, 3 pieces sinew sewn together, outside covered with a patchwork of white ermine skin pieces glued on. Lazy stitch beaded leather forehead band of royal blue stepped triangles on white ground with red/white hearts beaded edges. Split buffalo horns attached at each side trimmed tips covered with ermine skin over sinew wrapped red-orange dyed horse hair tufts. Between horns at top of cap is a leather thong covered with clipped dark brown feather, 7 feathers have bottoms trimmed and tops protrude above clipped feathers; center spike feather is trimmed close to the rib-straight on top edge, zig-zagged on bottom edge - with white breath feathers sinew wrapped at tip and base; split owl feathers attached in a group below horns with a leather thong tied through horn. At left end of headband are 2 full ermine skins and one ermine skin strip, red wool wrapped at head end. At right end of headband are 1 full ermine skin, 1 partial ermine skin and 1 ermine tail with dark brown tip, all red wool wrapped at head end. On back of cap are 2 bent wood hoops with painted blue leather thong netting, small yellow ochre-dyed medicine pouches tied to centers with eagle breath feathers sinew wrapped to thong ties on pouches. Brain tanned leather trailer attached at back of cap with leather thong overcast stitch. Trailer is painted with 3 green butterfly designs interspersed with 2 yellow circles ringed with green and black, yellow spots overall, black zig-zag lines down both edges with outer edges painted pink, edges also trimmed with pairs of cut and split hooves - insides painted pink. Strung on leather thong woven down the center of the trailer are 42 eagle feathers with breath feathers at bases which are red wool wrapped and overtied with leather thongs, red-dyed horsehair tufts glued at feather tips; feathers are also connected at mid-shaft with leather thong. Trailer is reinforced at intervals with 4 arrow shaft sections tied on horizontally. | NA.205.78BACK.JPG | NA.205.78FRONT.JPG | NA.205.78view1.JPG | NA.205.78view2.JPG | NA.205.78.jpg | circles | butterfly | yellow | triangles | green | stepped | Buffalo Horn Bonnet | bonnet | rawhide | pigment | ermine | split | buffalo horns | feather | feathers | owl | horsehair | glass beads | hooves | brain tanned | deer hide | wool cloth | eagle | Sioux | Northern Plains

NA.203.932
Plateau | Salish | Feather b...
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NA.203.932 | H: 17 in, L: 26 in | Simplot Collection, Gift of J.R. Simplot | Dress and Adornment, Perosnal Adornment and Ritual Regalia. Headdress made of a tan felt hat which is the skull cap. Attached are tall black/white feathers, each with red feather fluffs fastened with white fur "dots" at the top. At the base of each feather are red and some purple and gold fluffs. Across the front is a 1 1/2" high seed bead band with inverted triangles of dark blue, spaced the length. Two brown fur pelts hang down the back. Purple feather fluffs and white "dots" of fur adorn each pelt, some are missing. Small red beads and dentalia dangles decorate the top of eqch pelt at the head. There are hide laces on each side. | NA.203.932.JPG | NA.203.932.JPG | triangles | Feather bonnet | glass beads | feather | weasel | dentalium | eagle | felt | skin | Plateau | Salish

NA.203.1589
Plains | necklace | eagle ta...
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NA.203.1589 | ca. 1860 | L: 42 in, H: 19 in, width: 4 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Eagle talon and otter fur necklace. 932) thirty two talons attached to otter hide and fur with hide ties underneath necklace. Skin and pads on talons intact. Hide ties colored with red ochre secure necklace. | na.203.1589.jpg | necklace | eagle talons | pigment | tanned hide | otter fur | otter hide | Plains

NA.205.4
Crow | Northern Plains | hea...
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NA.205.4 | ca. 1870 | L: 70 in, width: 46.5 in | Irving H. "Larry" Larom Collection | Dress and Adornment - Status Symbols and Insignia of Office. Medicine headdress - completely tanned mountain lion hide with deer hoof, owl talon and group of large eagle feathers attached to back with clipped feather tassle at top. Buckskin skull cap with tab at end of trail. Inside dyed with red ochre. | NA.205.4.JPG | NA.205.4.JPG | NA.205.4.JPG | headdress | eagle | hoof | talon | ochre | feathers | deer | tanned | Mountain Lion | owl | hide | Red | Crow | Northern Plains

NA.203.213
Tama, Iowa | Young Bear, Joh...
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NA.203.213 | ca. 1920 | inside circle length: 12 in, inside circle width: 6.5 in, width: 13.5 in, L: 18.5 in | Adolf Spohr Collection, Gift of Larry Sheerin | Personal Adornment & Ritual Regalia. Necklace and trailer - Otter fur necklace and trailer with red ribbon trim on trailer and multi-color overlay bead border. Two red ribbons at end and two blue and gold ribbons on trailer. 40 bear claws attached to otter fur circle with single row of glass blue beads. Overlay multi-color medallions on fur. | Pamphlet: Cody, Wyoming Relocation Guide; Cody Chamber of Commerce, Cody, Wyoming; 2004; page 7 | na.203.213 v1.jpg | na.203.213 v2.jpg | NA.203.213dtl2.jpg | NA.203.213.JPG | NA.203.213dtl1.jpg | NA.203.213.jpg | trailer | necklace | fur | glass | glass beads | grizzly bear | ribbon | claws | otter | Tama, Iowa | Young Bear, John | Meskwaki | Sac and Fox

NA.108.105
Crow | shield with cover | w...
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NA.108.105 | ca. 1860 | Diameter: 21.5 in, depth: 2.25 in | Chandler-Pohrt Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edson W. Spencer | back of shield,in red: C-1419 [in black] 71737/ [line] 1; [on back of cover, in black:] 71732 [line] 2 | Utensils and Implements, Fighting. Heavy concave rawhide shield with red ochre colored front and remnants of red ochre coloring under cover on back. Buckskin cover divided vertically into thirds with dark brown lines - outer two sections have slightly curved horizontal lines in dark brown with red ochre coloring between lines, center section has six bear tracks leading to a round bodied bear in dark brown and alternating dark brown and red ochre zigzag lines at top, attached between bear's ears is a charm of red wool beaded with greasy blue and white seed beads (two sizes) and one flicker feather. Buckskin thong lacing through holes gathers cover onto shield. Buckskin strips through pairs of holes in shield are tied around a wider buckskin strip that forms a handle. | Book: American Art, History, and Cultural Identity Encounters; by Angela L. Miller, Janet C. Berlo, Bryan J. Wolf, Jennifer L. Roberts; Pearson Prentis Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2007, page 213 | NA.108.105dtl1.JPG | NA.108.105dtl2.JPG | NA.108.105dtl3.JPG | NA.108.105.jpg | NA.108.105.JPG | na.108.105v2.jpg | bear | shield with cover | wool | Buckskin | pigment | flicker | rawhide | feather | glass beads | tanned deer hide | Crow

NA.108.14
Arikara | shield cover | pig...
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NA.108.14 | ca. 1875 | Diameter: 19 in | Adolf Spohr Collection, Gift of Larry Sheerin | Utensils and implements - Fighting (could also be used for ritual ceremonies). Shield cover - tanned dyed with yellow ochre with black painted animal figure on front. Red feather attached to front. Two square shaped brown fur pieces on front. | NA.108.14.JPG | NA.108.14.jpg | bear | Animal | shield cover | pigment | feathers | fur | tanned deer hide | Arikara

NA.205.16
Meskwaki | Sac and Fox | tur...
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NA.205.16 | ca. 1920 | H: 5 in, width: 11.625 in, tab length: 23.5 in | Adolf Spohr Collection, Gift of Larry Sheerin | Status Symbols and Insignia of Office. Turban - brown fur turban with silver metal bear paw on front center. Single eagle feather at top center with red feather puffs. Red cloth top and inside lining. Triangular shaped beaded tab in multi-color overlay diamond design with white horse hair and red feather tassle. Square bead panel in overlay geometric design with white bead hand in center. | NA.205.16.JPG | NA.205.16.jpg | geometric | Diamond | turban | fur | puffs | otter | eagle | feather | seed | Beads | Horse Hair | metal | Tradecloth | Meskwaki | Sac and Fox

NA.504.440
Central Plains | Pawnee | Ch...
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NA.504.440 | ca. 1870 | L: 8 in, width: 1 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Wood pipe tamper with carved bear. Carved bear sits upright atop handle with area for finger holds. Two holes carved in wide area above slender body of tamper stick. Red pigment on front of bear and in holes. Smooth wood darkened with use. | NA.504.440.jpg | NA.504.440.v1.jpg | tamper | pigment | wood | Central Plains | Pawnee | Chahiksichahiks

NA.302.126
Plateau | Nez Perce | tipi |...
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NA.302.126 | ca. 1850 | H: 195.75 in, L: 258 x 222 x 258 x 222 x 102 x 244 x 244 x 108 in, width: 1.5 x 1.5 x 1 x 1.75 x .375 x .375 x 1 in | Gift of Douglas L. Manship, Sr. | Buffalo hide tipi with 4 red, right hand prints around the doorway. Solid red circles in a wavy pattern around exterior. Buffalo tails on tipi with empty red circles around them. Red semi-cirle around each door opening. Approximately 10-12 buffalo hides. Eight leather strips of various strips (B-I). | na.302.126v1.jpg | na.302.126v13.jpg | na.302.126v14.jpg | na.302.126v16.jpg | na.302.126v17.jpg | na.302.126v3.jpg | na.302.126v6.jpg | na.302.126v9.jpg | na.302.126v10.jpg | na.302.126v11.jpg | na.302.126v12.jpg | na.302.126v15.jpg | na.302.126v18.jpg | na.302.126v2.jpg | na.302.126v4.jpg | na.302.126v5.jpg | na.302.126v7.jpg | na.302.126v8.jpg | NA.302.126.jpg | hands | balls | tipi | hide | buffalo | pigment | Plateau | Nez Perce

NA.505.9
Sioux | Northern Plains | ha...
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NA.505.9 | ca. 1890 | L: 15.75 in, width: 13.75 in, H: 3.25 in | Gift of Irving H. "Larry" Larom Estate | Ritual and Recreation: Musical Instruments. Rawhide with wooden stick frame. Painted in red and yellow ochre sections with buffalo in center with blue outline on yellow background. | na.505.9.jpg | NA.505.9.JPG | buffalo | hand drum | Red | painted | rawhide | yellow ochre | cover | frame | wood | blue | Sioux | Northern Plains

NA.106.217
Fort Belknap Indian Reservat...
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NA.106.217 | 1885 | L: 4.125 in, Diameter: 1.375 in | Chandler-Pohrt Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Pohrt. | Utensils and implements - Household. Cupping horn - carved horn, undecorated, naturally dark | NA.106.217.JPG | cupping horn | buffalo horn | Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, MT | Gros Ventre

NA.108.21
Northern Plains | shield | h...
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NA.108.21 | Diameter: 20.625 in | Utensils and implements - Fighting. Shield (replica) - rawhide with 8 eagle feathers and 4 hawk feathers on top. Buffalo painted on front with red and green background. | na.108.21.JPG | na.108.21.jpg | painted | buffalo | shield | hide | paint | Animal | hawk | feathers | eagle | Northern Plains

NA.106.596
Plateau | Salish | spoon | r...
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NA.106.596 | L: 8 in, width: 3.375 in | Simplot Collection, Gift of J.R. Simplot | Utensils and Implements, Household. Spoon, buffalo horn with double handle-both ends carved into bird heads with white bead eyes and red paint inside beaks. One handle has a yellow ribbon, the other has a blue ribbon. Base of bowl has incised triangles painted red. | NA.106.596.jpg | NA.106.596.JPG | triangles | bird | spoon | ribbon | pigment | horn | seed beads | buffalo | Plateau | Salish

NA.203.138
Piegan | headdress | horns |...
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NA.203.138 | ca. 1885 | L: 21 in | Dress and Adornment - Personal Adornment. Object: Horn headdress - buffalo hide skull cap with two horns attached. No other decorations. | na.203.138v2.jpg | na.203.138v1.jpg | NA.203.138.JPG | headdress | horns | buffalo | hide | Piegan

NA.108.131
Kiowa | Southern Plains | sh...
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NA.108.131 | 1825-1850 | L: 20.25 in, width: 21 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Buffalo rawhide shield. Bordered with red cloth and eagle feathers. Front is painted red, green, black. It is very dirty. Feathers are smoke saturated. feathers and fabric are very fragile. | na.108.131.jpg | ritual | fighting | shield | sinew | tanned hide | bald eagle feathers | wool cloth | pigment | buffalo rawhide | Kiowa | Southern Plains

NA.202.1273
Hidatsa | shirt | pigments |...
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NA.202.1273 | late 19th century - early 20th century | L: 22 in, width: 38.5 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Boy's shirt, Poncho style, open sides with ties. sewn sleeves, self-fringed on edges and cuffs. Triangular neck tab on back. Long fringes added to braod strips of hide, serving as a base for the porcupine quill embroidery on sleeves. Similar strips extend down the front and back. Quillwork is plaited using multiple quills, analine dyed orange, blue, and red dyed quills -----. Open V-cut neck in front. Sleeves fully sewn closed. seam hidden by quill strips and fringe. | NA.202.1273.v1.jpg | NA.202.1273.v2.jpg | NA.202.1273.v3.jpg | shirt | pigments | porcupine quills | tanned hide | cotton thread | Hidatsa

NA.202.1286
Northern Plains | Crow | Aps...
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NA.202.1286 | ca. 1890 | L: 32.5 in, width: 16 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | Crow girl's dress. T-shaped red, wool cloth dress with purple wool at neck. Purple wool used at cuffs and at hem. Dress is lined with cotton cloth. There are thirteen rows of carved bone and elks teeth on both the front and back, tied on with leather strips which hang loose on the edges. Dress is machine sewn with cotton thread. | NA.202.1286.v2.jpg | NA.202.1286.v3.jpg | NA.202.1286.v1.jpg | dress | Cotton cloth | leather | wool cloth | elk teeth | cotton thread | Glass seed beads | carved bone | Dress Apsaálooke (Crow) Northern Plains, Montana, ca. 1890 Wool cloth, cotton cloth, elk teeth, carved bone, glass beads, tanned hide, cotton thread. Women wore dresses decorated in elk teeth for many occasions. Mothers and grandmothers also made such dresses for beloved children. This girl's dress features both elk eye teeth and imitation teeth carved from bone. NA.202.1286 | Northern Plains | Crow | Apsáalooke | Montana