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Knife Sheath

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Rawhide, buckskin, porcupine quills, tin, sinew, thread
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 9 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (24.1 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS "Indian Scalping knives" number "46"
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION Eastern, Sioux (Native American). Knife Sheath, early 19th century. Rawhide, buckskin, porcupine quills, tin, sinew, thread, 9 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (24.1 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.41. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE back, CUR.50.67.41_view2.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 The sheath is made of a folded piece of rawhide with quill work embroidery along the edge in alternating lengths of red, blue, black and yellow. A piece of soft buckskin is wrapped around the top as a panel or cuff. The added piece is decorated with quillwork; a white field with alternating triangles of blue and black, underlined with orange (formerly red?) arranged in rows. The top and bottom of this cuff are decorated with narrow borders composed of red and white triangles. The entire pattern is outlined with a thin blue line. The narrow borders continue part way around to the back of the sheath, but the quill work pattern does not. Tin cones dangle from the top two corners of the sheath from hide thongs wrapped with red and blue quills and from the bottom of the cuff on thongs wrapped with red quills. These thongs are threaded through the tin cones to form decorative loops that protect their ends. There is a native repair on the reverse side of the sheath.
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Knife Sheath