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Girl's Dress: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This style of dress was introduced to the Plains in the 19th century, replacing an earlier draped and tied design common amongst the Tsistsistas (Cheyenne). Elk teeth, the upper two incisors only, were used as decoration, representing great wealth because of their scarcity. As elk become harder to obtain, bone was carved to resemble teeth and used the same way, such as on this dress. The beaded yoke and hem design is typical of Tsistsistas art and added to the overall decorative effect. Tsistsistas beadwork was typically sewn in a lane-stitch style. The creation of decorative beaded patterns among the Tsistsistas was limited to women of respected character who were members of a beadworkers guild. This guild had sacred aspects and production of work followed a set of rituals that were taught to its members along with beading techniques. The work produced by these women had high cultural value because of their recognized skill and virtue.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009