Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg

>Costume Studies
>>1876 Lakota Sioux wic'âša
Subjectwic'âša 'shirt wearer' warrior
Culture: Lakota Sioux
Setting: Plains Wars, 1862-1890
Object: costume

* Fort Worth Museum of Science and History > Native American Gallery
"Lakota Hair-Fringed Shirt
Tanned hide, glass beads, hair, 
Early 20th century
Among the Sioux bands, one of the most important duties was the appointment of 'shirt wearers.'  Such shirts -- whose main distinguishing feature was the hair-lock fringe on the sleeves -- symbolized the high status of the wearer.  It also signaled the wearer's obligations in war and tribal leadership." ...

* Brooklyn Museum > Americas
"Shirt  Sioux, Yanktonai artist, early 19th century  Minnesota
Buckskin, porcupine quills, glas beads, pigment, sinew, fur, maidenhair fern stems ...
Plains Tribes men's shirts are often decorated with representations of personal status.  The many brown horizontal bands on the right side of this shirt may represent horsewhips, symbolizing the number of horses the wearer gave away as gifts.  The left side of the shirt has thick, black hourglass figures that have been interpreted as blankets traded during successful commerce.  Through giving valuable presents or accomplishing peaceful trades, this shirt's owner would have acquired great reputation and respect.
"This elaborate shirt is part of the Nathan Sturges Jarvis collection, which was acquired between 1833 and 1836, when Jarvis was a medical doctor in Fort Snelling, Minnesota.  Its unique style reflects the changing fashion trends of the periord, when artists incorporated new glass beads (seen on the elaborately decorated yoke hanging from the collar) with traditional porcupine quill and maidenhair fern embroidery (seen on the shoulder epaulets)."

* Royal Ontario Museum > Canada -- First Peoples
"Chemise de chef cérémoniel ou de guerrier vainqueur
Décor de piquants, peau de cerf
Lakota?, v.1862 ..."

* Museum of Fine Arts > Art of the Americas > Native North American Art
"Shirt  Lakota [Sioux]
Possibly North or South Dakota, about 1875
Buckskin colored with natural pigments, human hair, ermine, glass beads, cotton plain weave, trade cloth, silk plain weave ribbon, sinew, and cotton thread
As he accumulated respect on the battlefield, a warrior earned the right to wear a shirt, into which his strength, ability, and even his character were absorbed.  Among the Lakota, those of high honor wore painted shirts, and each lock of hair represented a specific act of bravery in battle.  The ermine tassels are a sign of high rank and may indicate that the original wearer was a chief. ..."

Carnegie Museum of Natural History > Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians
Lakota maker, Crow owner, 
collected 1904