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Woman's Dress

Central Plains, probably Lakota

Not on view

Cross motifs on the yoke of this elaborately beaded dress symbolize a religious concept—possibly the four winds, the four cardinal directions, or the Morning Star. Turtle, a creature of Lakota myth that is closely associated with female power, is represented in the U-shaped form in the center. The profusion of costly blue trade beads in the ornamentation of the dress implies the owner was wealthy. The dress has a full skirt that allowed the wearer to ride a horse.

Woman's Dress, Native-tanned leather, glass beads, brass bells, Central Plains, probably Lakota

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