America, Central Plains, Lakota Sioux / Scalp Shirt / c. 1890America, Central Plains, Lakota Sioux
Scalp Shirt
c. 1890

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Creator Nationality: North American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota
Creator Name-CRT: America, Central Plains, Lakota Sioux
Title: Scalp Shirt
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1885
Creation End Date: 1895
Creation Date: c. 1890
Object Type: Costume and Jewelry
Classification Term: Costume
Materials and Techniques: hide, pigment, glass beads, human hair
Dimensions: Overall: 92.7cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1984.1046
Credit Line: Bequest of David S. McMillan
Context: Scalp shirts are among the most spectacular garmets produced by the Plains Indians. Lakota Sioux scalp shirts were often painted blue or green on the upper half (to symbolize the sky) and yellow on the lower half (indicating the earth). The locks of hair attached to the shirt are not actually scalps. Instead they were usually donated by family members or friends. Each lock represents a war exploit performed by the shirt's owner. Additional ornamentation was provided by panels of Venetian glass beads, sewn to the leather with sinew thread. During the Reservation Period (after 1870) warfare ceased, and scalp shirts became items of formal or ceremonial attire.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1984.1046
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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