A Sioux war sheild collected by Major James M. Bell, a union cavalry veteran of the Civil War who fought in several major engagements. After the war, he served as a cavalry officer during the Indian Wars. The accession record for this sheild indicates that it came from a captive Sioux.

From card: "The base of this shield is a plain piece of stiff hide with the hair left on the back, and the observed decoration is on a thin piece of once white cloth. It consists of a horned cows head in the center with a pink zig zag streak extending downward from the jaw; yellow, pink and brown concentric circles on either side of the head, from the right one of which hangs a tassel of two eagle feathers and three small bells. Upper third is painted a dirty brown and the lower third is yellow. A substitute for the older all hide ones." accession record: (from) "Captive Sioux."


  • Title: War Shield
  • Location: Fort Buford, Williams County, North Dakota, United States, North America
  • Physical Dimensions: D: 47cm
  • Type: Shield
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • Medium: Hide, cloth, eagle feathers, paint
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): EL66
  • Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Ethnology

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