Arts of the Americas
Wool cloth, dentalium shells, ribbon, glass beads, brass bells, cotton
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Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
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Possibly Sioux (Native American). Dress, 1875-1900. Wool cloth, dentalium shells, ribbon, glass beads, brass bells, cotton, 43 5/16 x 33 7/16in. (110 x 85cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, 46.96.12. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.96.12_front_PS2.jpg)
front, 46.96.12_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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Long bodice (collar) of dentalium shell is a pre-style form of decoration because these shells were hard to obtain. The Sioux would have traded for them. This would be for a special woman and handed down in families. The very heavy dress does not look reworked and was worn very little and probably only used for special occasions. Blue wool trade cloth, red, white, blue ribbons might indicate July 4th reference. A slit is at the back of the dress and the basic pattern is T-shaped. Four-direction designs on the bottom would be prestige decoration and the little flowers along the bottom are unusual, odd. The bells are different colors. The body of the dress is machine sewn.
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