light tan hide; beaded bodice on front and back with black, white, red, and yellow beads in arcing horizontal rows on front and back, and band of beads on top of each sleeve; hide fringe below bands of beads with larger blue, brown, black, red, and green beads; hide fringe at bottom hem, sides, beneath sleeves, and on sleeve openings

Dress, c. 1875

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This dress was made in the late to mid-1800s by a Nez Perce woman artist for a young woman, and it is constructed from several hides. The artist retained the composition of the mountain goat form, including the tail and legs, in order to imbue the wearer with the qualities and power of the animal. In the early 1800s, a hank, or bundle, of pony beads (large, smooth glass beads), like those featured in this dress, were so highly prized that their trade value was worth a pony. The artist deftly beaded black, white, red, and yellow beads in vertical rows, creating an undulating, dynamic pattern, which is then mirrored at the bottom hem of the dress with fringe that would sway back and forth as the wearer walked.

Details
Title
Dress
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2018.45
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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light tan hide; beaded bodice on front and back with black, white, red, and yellow beads in arcing horizontal rows on front and back, and band of beads on top of each sleeve; hide fringe below bands of beads with larger blue, brown, black, red, and green beads; hide fringe at bottom hem, sides, beneath sleeves, and on sleeve openings