Specializing in Native American Crafts Since 1916

Yakima Beaded Dress

Size: 54" L57" W
SKU: 900012792




Yakima Beaded Deer Tail Dress CA 1875 Please allow me a short preamble here. This dress exemplifies not only the time, effort, and attention to detail that is apparent in all Plain's beaded work, but also the loving care and sense of pride that is prerequisite to making such pieces successfully. We tend to romanticize, and therefore distance ourselves from, the lives of these people who lived so long ago in a world so very different from our own. But human is human. This dress was made; each fringe cut, each bead sewn, for someone that was very special to the maker. This fact permeates every square inch and every long hour invested into the making of this dress. Yakima beaded deer tail dress sewn in four pieces. Two full Native tanned deer hides make the front and back of the dress. The hair is left in tact at the feet and cut into fringes. The hides are fringed at all seam edges. The tails of the deer with the hair trimmed have been sewn on below the neck at the front and back for decoration. The yolk of the dress is also Native tanned and cut from the underbellies of the deer. The hem of the dress has two tabs in the center cut from the neck of the deer on the front and back. In addition Four tabs of deerskin are sewn to the hem of the dress; two small tabs at the side seams and two larger tabs midway between the center and the sides. Above these tabs are red trade cloth squares, cut the same size as the tab below it and sewn to the dress, outlined at top and sides with a strip of dark blue translucent beading with a strip of white beading with vertical double green stripes interspersed across the bar sewn on to hide the seam below the cloth. The smaller squares of cloth close to the seam sides are topped with a row of tin cones at each side. All sewing of the skins is done with an awl using buckskin thongs for thread. Native tanned deerhide, red stroud, Venetian beads, pony beads, tin cones, horsehair, yellow and red ochre, cotton and sinew thread. Three hide dress with deer tail left intact at the neck on both sides. Fringes cut into the hide at openings with the deer hair left on hide at sleeve ends and on the right and left side of the "hemline". Beaded outline at the neck of the dress, down the upper sleeves, at the yoke, and a double outline of beads at the bottom of the dress. yoke is rubbed with yellow ochre. Space between the double beaded lines rubbed with red ochre at bottom. Red stroud around neckline and in decorative panels at the bottom. Beaded rows and diamonds at lower dress body on both sides with long fringe dcorations. Red dyed horsehair strands tied at both sleeves. Tin cone decorations at either side at the bottom of the dress.

Condition: Excellent.

Circa: 1880

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