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Chief's Dress Shirt

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Hide, quills, hair, beads, pigment, cloth, cotton thread
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 44 x 69 1/4 in. (111.8 x 175.9 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION Blackfoot, Piegan (Native American). Chief's Dress Shirt, early 19th century. Hide, quills, hair, beads, pigment, cloth, cotton thread, 44 x 69 1/4 in. (111.8 x 175.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.5a. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, CUR.50.67.5a_view1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This shirt is very early, pre 1830s Blackfoot. The fringe along the sleeves and shirttail is the remnants of ermine and bits can still be seen. The painted figures of people are probably indicative of dead people or people the warrior killed. Should be called a War Shirt not a dress shirt. The quillwork is bird quill. Quillwork is similar to Mandan Hidatsa. Sometimes dots that are rounded indicate hailstones but then they are organized in a scattered fashion more like splashes. There are many anomalies in the quill/bead design.
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Chiefs Dress Shirt