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Cloth lined vest with beaded animal and floral designs / Native American; Yakima


Beaded vest with cloth liner. Multiple animal designs.

Note with artifact: “Plateau, possibly Ute.”

Vests covered in beads did not become prevalent until the 1890s and 1900s, when beadwork had become popular and beads easily accessible. The vests typically were decorated with geometric designs, though some of the more northern Plains tribes began using floral patterns much later (Paterek 1994, 87).

The Plains and Plateau Indians decorated their clothing and hides with quillwork, paint, and fringe not only because of the aesthetics, but because the beautification “did honor to the spirit of the animal” (Furst and Furst 1982, 165). Animal skins possessed spirit power from the original animals because the skins had given the animals their forms. Therefore, if people decorate the skin, thus honoring it, the animal will send its goodwill to the people.

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Cloth lined vest with beaded animal and floral designs
Native American; Yakima
late 19th century
Washington, United States of America
cloth, glass
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Not On View

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