Native American Gallery

Preserving the heritage of the American West

By National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Native American Gallery (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Lakota Woman's Dress circa 1920 (1920) by Lakota(Teton Sioux)National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Native American Beadwork, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Beaded Cover for Child's Saddle (1900) by Lakota(Teton Sioux)National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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.

Bandolier Bag (1885) by Ho-Chunk (Winnebago)National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Patriotic Pride

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.

Credits: Story

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.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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Indigenous Americas
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