The cultural and material diversity that exists in western Native America is tremendous. The Museum showcases the diversity of Native artists and artisans and the viability of their cultural heritage.
During the last half of the nineteenth century, Lakota (Teton Sioux) women began attaching a third skin at right angles to the traditional two shirt skins.
This provided a yoke that could be profusely beaded and also allowed for long attendant fringe.
Preserving a Culture
Plains people have a long history of crafting special finery for their children. When children became the focus of federal assimilation policies during the reservation period, mothers combated these pressures by crafting ever-finer clothing and meticulously beaded accessories. These items helped to instill cultural pride and preserve family tribal identity. Beaded saddles epitomize their efforts.
Throughout the twentieth and into the twenty first century, the American Indian warrior tradition has continued as Native people have served in the U.S. military. American flags frequently appear on the clothing and accessories of active duty personnel, their families, and their communities.
Come explore the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Exhibit produced by, John Spencer, Director of Media & Content Production, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
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