Hide, pigment, glass beads, human hair
Overall: 97.8 x 150 cm (38 1/2 x 59 1/16 in.)
Bequest of David S. McMillan 1984.1046
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.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.