Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1868 Cheyenne Dog Soldier

Subject: dog and other society soldier
Culture: Cheyenne 
Setting: Plains Wars, Great Plains 19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Moffat 2005 p299
"The Cheyenne Tribal Council had a membership of 44 civil chiefs, as distinct from war chiefs, and it ruled supreme over the whole confederacy.  Made up of ten major bands, the Cheyenne nation was spread over a vast area which had been apportioned by custom and practice into band territories.  Each person used a combined name to describe his/her identity: an Omissis Cheyenne, a Hevatania Cheyenne and so on.  Each band sent four civil chiefs to the tribal council and these men were considered to be the protectors of each and all of the members of that band.  Generosity was a particularly prized virtue, and civil chiefs often gave gifts of horses."

* Moffat 2005 p290
"The warbands of the North American Plains Indian tribes were organized in soldier societies.  They shared secret initiation ceremonies, warpaint and the ethic of brothers in arms.  While not at war, which was most of the time, they acted as tribal policemen, overseeing hunting expeditions, camp moves and the arrangement of large encampments.  The Cheyenne nation had six soldier societies, most of them named after totem animals: the Fox Soldiers, Elk Soldiers, Red Shields, Bow Strings, Crazy Dogs and the famous Dog Soldiers.  When American negroes fought in the federal army, the native Americans called them Buffalo Soldiers, because their curly dark hair reminded them of the mane of the buffalo, and so coined a name for an enemy, based on appearance, which they themselves might have used."


* Paterek 1994 p102
"The Cheyenne men wore the halo warbonnet, as shown in paintings by Catlin in the 1830s, although earlier they had worn the straight-up headdress of the Blackfeet.  The buffalo-horn headdress was also worn, but only by distinguished warriors.  The famous Cheyenne chief Roman Nose wore a unique headdress with a browband from which issued a single buffalo horn.  Men also wore headgear made of the stuffed pelt of a small rodent, as well as rawhide sunshades or visors."


* Paterek 1994 p100
"The Plains fitted breechclouts adopted later were long front and back; these were still worn under trousers (the flaps hanging out) until well into the twentieth century.  Early leggings worn by the men were tied down the front with thongs; typical of those and later thigh-length leggings was a long loose triangular flap from the calf to the ground, which flapped noisily as the warrior walked, the sound augmented by buttons, shells, and deer hooves attached to the long side fringes.  The inside of the flap was painted a bright red or orange, revealing shafts of bright color intermittently.  When the Cheyenne adopted the war shirt, they wore it long (almost to the knees), painted with such symbols as thunderbirds, dragonflies, and celestial motifs; a long triangle at the neck was typically edged with a long fringe. Quilled bands, often with diamond designs, went over the shoulders and down the sleeves.  The Southern Cheyenne warshirts did not usually feature these quilled or beaded bands of the northern group.  The shirts were generally painted yellow, and were adorned with long dark green twisted fringes.  Special war shirts were trimmed with scalps of enemies sewn along the seams." 

* Fashion, costume, and culture volume 2 2004 p365
"The Cheyenne of the Plains especially valued cloaks made of white buffalo."


* Paterek 1994 p103
"Shields were carried into battle.  They had a special type -- a hoop with crossed lacings that was ineffective against arrows, but was considered a form of magical protection.  They liked Crow shields, obtainable in trade."




* Dorsey 1995 p16
"Of the 410 weapons collected at the Cheyenne Ordnance Depot, a large proportion (about 137 out of 284 long guns) were of the Kentucky and Plains styles."  


* Paterek 1994 p101
"Old-type moccasins had the side seams and soft sole, with rawhide soles sewed on.  After 1820 a one-piece upper was sewed to a rawhide sole; these were worn with or without ankle flaps, depending on the season.  Ankle flaps of Southern Cheyenne moccasins had typically scalloped edges.  Characteristic of the Cheyenne were the two 'tails' of leather at the back of the heels; these were about two inches long and were of deerskin strips, or part of a buffalo tail, or tails of small animals.  Geometric patterns (especially stepped triangles) in quillwork or beadwork and, later, tinklers adorned the moccasins."