Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Antique Ponca Beaded Hide War Shirt and Leggings

Size: 38" L44" W
SKU: 900131502




Ponca beaded hide war shirt and leggings. Native tanned deer hide, Venetian Beads, stroud, horsehair, human hair, ermine, brass bells, braided cord, rawhide, thumbtacks. SHIRT: Shirt is fringed at the bottom, the cuffs and the side seams. Long fringe sewn to sleeves and shoulders. Triangular flaps added at front and back of shirt. Two long beaded panels are sewn over each shoulder terminating at the bottom front and back of the shirt. Beaded panels also sewn to the tops of each sleeve. Ermine tail wrapped around braided cord is sewn on to the top shoulder along with yellow dyed horsehair, brown human hair, and orange dyed horsehair. The bottom of the shirt is pieced together to form an arc shape. Additional beaded panels decorate the collar panels, sleeves, and bottom of the shirt. American flags in Venetian beads decorate the lower part of the shirt. Green ochre rings decorate the top portion, with a yellow ochre band mid-shirt, and red ochre in horizontal stripes above the waist. LEGGINGS: Leggings are fringed at the open flaps along the sides with two long beaded columns inside the outer edge. There is one thin beaded row above the cuffs. There is a yellow ochre painted field with green ochre at the open edges. Thonged hide fringes are added along the inside bead laced with brass bell decorations. There once were beaded rings and crosses on the leggings but the beads were removed later and likely reused elsewhere. Green and red ochre paint remains inside where the rings were. There are two small antique Dietzen thumbtacks, one inserted on each side of the leggings through the fringe on each side. Stapled to the left legging is a later added collection note that states "Chief White Eagle" in script and "Ponca" in type. PROVENIENCE: White Eagle's grandson, McKinley Horse Chief Eagle (son of Horse Chief Eagle) sold the described shirt and leggings to J.H Galanter of Galanter Loan Office, Kay County, Oklahoma. The Galanter Loan Office then sold the shirt to H.T. Lawrence in 1948.

White Eagle (Ponca, 1840-1914) was the hereditary leader among the Ponca Nation during the late 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. He guided the Ponca from their homeland in Nebraska to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, during their removal in 1877. After the relocation, White Eagle helped rebuild the tribal dynamics and remained their leader for the next 50 years. Before his death, he passed leadership to his son Horse Chief Eagle. (Bruce E. Johansen, "White Eagle," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed February 09, 2018).

Condition: Good condition. 9 thonged fringes are missing from the right legging. Red ochre stains on the right legging. 13 thonged fringes missing from the left legging. Red ochre paint stains to the top front and back of the legging. Some Native repair, aforementioned beading removed from the leggings.

Circa: 1890

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