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Details
A BLACKFOOT BEADED AND FRINGED HIDE CEREMONIAL SHIRT
with short front and open sides, beaded panels over the shoulders and down the arms in dark blue and orange on a light green ground, decorated with bar elements and H-shaped devices, front and back with triangular fringed bibs, each decorated with a cross motif surmounted by a stepped diamond, with a winter ermine pelt attached to the front, and large metal buttons attached to the front and back, hide fringe overall
Width: 60 in. (152.5 cm.)
Provenance
Ex collection: Mrs. Thomas Burke, Hardin, MT
Ex collection: Mr. Charles Norton, Denver, CO
Ex collection: Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

Lot Essay

The beaded design elements on this shirt strongly suggest a Blackfoot origin. In addition, the cut of the shirt and the buckskin fringe (instead of ermine or hair fringe) suggest the piece is from the era of the Kaispa, or Parted Hair Society. This society was transferred ceremonially from the Assiniboine to the Blackfoot in the early 1900s. This transfer included certain items of clothing, such as the Sioux style eagle headdress. In many cases the "rights" to make the items and not the actual items were transferred. This shirt is an example of an Assiniboine, or Sioux, cut, or form, with traditional Blackfoot beadwork designs, (Raczka 1980).

Paul Raczka
October 2, 2000
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