Dress and belt with awl case

Wasco, Native American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

Plateau cultures thrived in the hilly steppe region between the Cascades in Washington and Oregon and the Rockies in Idaho and Montana. Garments of superior craftsmanship incorporating trade goods, such as this example, expressed personal identity and a family’s high status. The woman who made this two-hide dress lavishly covered the torso and sleeves with black-and-white beadwork, which she framed with fringes embellished with glass beads, cowry shells, bone, and two highly prized elk canines. The dress is accompanied by its own belt and awl case: awls were among the tools that women used in the preparation of animal skins.

Dress and belt with awl case, Dress: tanned leather, glass beads, shell, bone, elk teeth, and brass thimbles
belt: commercial leather, glass beads, and metal studs
awl case: tanned leather, and glass beads, Wasco, Native American

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