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Chief's Dress Shirt

Arts of the Americas

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
MEDIUM Buckskin, glass beads, dyed hair, porcupine quills, thread
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 39 x 52 in. (99.1 x 132.1 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Centennial Era, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION Red River Metis (Native American). Chief's Dress Shirt, early 19th century. Buckskin, glass beads, dyed hair, porcupine quills, thread, 39 x 52 in. (99.1 x 132.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.7a. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 50.67.7a_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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 dress shirt matches leggings 50.67.7b-c. A lack of ornamentation suggests it may be unfinished (compare this sparse ornamentation to 50.67.4). The shirt has no pierce work, loom-woven quillwork, or ornamentation on the cuffs. At the neck flap, however, there is an outline of blue beads and at intervals below, an additional two and three bead linear arrangement. There are simply decorated rosettes of concentric rings on either side with centers of plain white skin. Going outward from these centers are rings of quills: light blue; white; red; and a combination of blue and yellow. Following the quills is a ring of white skin, and an outer circle of blue beads. When cleaned in 1992, a fringe damaged by old insect damage became detached at the center of the proper left shoulder. The edges of the torn section were backed and reattached.
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Chiefs Dress Shirt