Collected in the early twentieth century by Adin T. Newman of Bloomer, Wisconsin, the Newman Indian Artifacts Collection houses over 200 objects. Many of these artifacts were purchased from Dewey Beard, pictured below.
Throughout his life, Newman presented materials in his collection to women's groups, rotary clubs, and other organizations in local educational lectures. Currently housed within the UW-Eau Claire Special Collections and Archives, the Newman Collection is available for student and community researchers alike. A.T. Newman had a desire to use these objects to teach the community and preserve them for future generations. Please continue his wish by looking and reading about the objects listed below. For more artifacts, please visit one of the sites listed above by category.
Lakota dress belonging to Mrs. Dewey Beard, and verified through photographs of her wearing said dress. Buckskin or elk, brain tanned three hide dress in the style of 1885-1890 (Some dresses are still made in this style, but usually with more intricate beadwork patterns.)The fully beaded yoke has classic earmarks of the style: lazy stitched, notched sleeves, relatively simple, isolated design elements, vestiges of the tail of earlier two hide dress on breast bone, contrasting band of color around edge and near bottom, and across shoulders. Sleeves open. The sleeves and bottom edge are fringed with 3-6" fringe. The side seams have a welted in fringe. The thongs hanging from the skirt front and back are typically Lakota.
The background of the dress is a blue similar to "Bodmer" blue. The design elements are in red white hearts, blue and some Sioux green with metallic accents. The four large elements are pairs of eight pointed stars formed with a central green square and right angle triangles, and equilateral crosses with triangular bases; these elements are outlined in white. Neither design is particularly noteworthy in these forms. (The five pointed star was introduced through the American flag.)
The dress is heavy buckskin or elk hide. The neck opening is worn in the back; this slit goes through a major design, which is unusual.
Woman's belt of buckskin, lined with unbleached muslin. Tie is a self cinch. Fine Anishnaabe floral spot stitch beadwork covers the entire piece; background not beaded. Circles for centers and flowers are a carry over from old pre-floral designs. Edge has addition of pinked strip of same buckskin, attached by machine stitching at time of construction. This is clearly a special piece, perhaps made for a special occasion. Has been lightly worn and well cared for. Probably early 20th century.
Lakota women's leggings, reservation period. Medium/dark blue background, "tipi" designs on sides and on the shin panels. Typical classical bottom edge, shaped to prevent heel edge from dragging; intermediary green band found on all Lakota traditional women's leggings of this period, and also unique to Lakota. This is said to connect the woman to Unci Maka-- Mother Earth. This pair of leggings embellish the green band with red and blue "boxes" or "bags." Small red (and white, in this case) elements with sacred significance make a broken vertical line up the back of the leg, which is apparent on all Lakota women's leggings of this period. Beadwork extends well up the legging, indicting they were not made during the earliest reservation period. Later leggings replaced the upper unbeaded portion with fabric. This style of legging occurs in no other tribe.
Necklace is a chain made entirely of very fine links of a soft, pliable wire-like material, possibly horse hair but more likely an early form of plastic or gutta-percha. Some links are coming apart and so reveal an inner coil of same material. Outer wrapped and knotted coverings of these miniscule links is same material.
Originally catalogued as moccasin tops. While they are shaped like tops to two-piece moccasins, with hard soles, Anishinabe did not use that construction. The leather is the shape of a vamp, as used on soft-soled Anishinabe style moccasins; however, it is much too large. The designs are mirror images, so they were clearly made as a pair. It is very likely they are the top of mittens of a type made in the Northeast and Subarctic. The floral designs have stylistic similarities to Anishinabe floral beadwork, but these are distinctly more natural, and the floral elements are not arranged to have space between them, only connected by vines and stems as is common. The negative shapes found in most Wisconsin and Minnesota Anishinabe floral designs have their own elegance. This is not the case here. While some of the individual flower shapes, such as the circles, are found in Anishinabe work, the placement and arrangement are very different, with overlapping of shapes and bunching of flowers and leaves giving a compact, bouquet appearance. May be subarctic/Canadian. The denseness of the floral beadwork also suggests Athabascan influence.
This is an unusually large umbilical cord amulet. These amulets were traditionally in the shape of a lizard or a turtle. Today, some people say that the lizards were for boys and the turtles were for girls, but other elders say they were not gender specific. Some old amulets are diamond-shaped, only suggesting an animal. Some Plains tribes continue to use the diamond shape. Both lizards and turtles are symbolic of long life and, in the case of lizards, have the ability to evade the enemy. The sand lizard is capable of regenerating its tail.
The child's navel cord, having dried and dropped off, is inserted in the body of the amulet with a filling; it was worn attached to the child for a certain period of childhood. Opinions differ as to an amulet's destination after that. It was critically important to save the navel of the child so that the child was a grounded human being. This practice is still common, but more so as a tradition.
Large soft-soled one piece moccasins with added vamp and large cuffs. toe is "puckered" Anishinabe style. Simplified floral spot-stitch beadwork on unbeaded background. Very soft brain tanned leather, constructed with whip stitch. Vamp lined with mattress ticking material, cuff lined with muslin. Red satin ribbon binds the cuff all the way around ,and it is attached with machine stitching. A border of beads, spaced in groups, is added with running stitch and thread. The moccasins have dirt residue as a result of exhibiting or storage, but no wear. The designs are very simple three- and five-lobed floral designs, each in two colors laid down in straight lines inside a one-bead outline. The element on the heel has three colors. Probably 1900-1950.
This pair of Anishnabe moccasins is very similar to A001-10-93 (Moccasins, Adult Anishinabe), with the major exception that these are constructed in the pointed toe style (center seam up toe), often associated with the Subarctic. The stitching, partially beaded "buds", method of attaching faux cuff, and finishing of edges are so like #10 as to suggest they have the same maker. Neither have been worn, and they may have been commissioned to show one of the three moccasins forms of the tribe. The linear application of the beads (not following the contour) is more common among Prairie groups than with the Anishnabe. Ties are the blue braid, used to add a finished look to the cuffs.
Moccasins, Lakota fully beaded, including soles, white
Lakota girl's fully beaded moccasins on brain tanned buckskin. Background is white milk glass beads. Classic beadwork style from1880 to 1950. Slightly unusual instep design of V elaborated with three triangles at the apex. Narrow blue border with navy and greasy yellow intervals. Above that is the tipi design (stepped triangles), the most common border design, in greasy yellow, dark and medium blue, and bright red and white hearts. Between the triangles is the "filled up", or bag or box, design. The beadwork extends up the ankle on these "high top" moccasins.
The sole, which is soft buckskin, is fully beaded with the "double K" element, also known as bowtie, in bright red and white hearts, with boxes or bags between. The irregular central area is the "filled up" pattern. These are beautifully made, in good condition.
Lakota (Marie Kills in Sight, and others) say these were not made for burial, but rather made for a ceremony honoring the child, who would stand on a buffalo hide or blanket. There were several occasions that a child could be so honored.
Unusually shaped drawstring bag with squared corners made of four pieces of buckskin sewn together. This bag shape is seen more in the Lakes region than elsewhere. Beadwork is geometric on one side and simplified floral on the other in a southern lakes style. Background is multicolored in modified lazy stitch, using left over beads. This particular look is much sought after by elders now, probably due to associations with seeing it in pieces from the turn of the century.