Newman Collection - Clothing
Brain tanned Lakota women's moccasins, tops quilled and beaded border. Sinew sewn. This "trails design" in red lanes is the most common moccasin quilled design, and the single lane of beads around the sole is standard. This pattern of quilled lanes combined with a narrow one-lane beaded border is used for both men and women. Quills are more fragile than beads, so the beads add protection. The high cuff indicates they are a woman's moccasins. The very unusual use of cloth for the actual cuff may be a result of them having been made for a man initially and later altered for a woman or a result of the difficulty of obtaining and/or expense of buckskin. At the time, cloth may have been the only option. The bead lane ends on the inner side of the foot on one of these moccasins, as it would have done with the older style of side-seam moccasin, which this pattern of quill and beadwork is common to.
The quills used on this pair, while uniform in size, are large and somewhat roughly sewn. Quills are sorted for different uses, and these particular quills come from the part of the porcupine that has the largest. Quill-worked moccasins were particularly prized, and they are more fragile than beaded moccasins; there were more bead workers than quill workers. Also, quillwork is general had died out among the Lakota by this time. The soles are from a Hereford cow, with the hair still attached.
Anishinabe moccasins: soft soled, pointed toe/center seam, separate vamp. Ties are sewn to cuff/ankle flap, rather than thongs passing around the ankle, which may have been done to order. Partially beaded with simple two color-- white and green-- floral spot stitch. Beads do not follow the contour of the floral design, but are laid down in Prairie style technique. Pointed toe moccasins are most common in sub-arctic.
These moccasins are hybrids, but they probably are Lakota moccasins. The pattern is an elaboration of a very old design, known as the three finger or three row design, which at one time was common on partially beaded moccasins. This design was used by the Lakota, the Cheyenne, and the Arapaho.
Toward the end of the 19th century, this design evolved to have a U-shaped lower edge. The background here is fully beaded, which is one way the design has been modernized. The border has a major element centered on the toe, which is normally an earmark of Cheyenne. However, narrow, one lane borders such as this one "do not count" as far as the design placement goes. Borders of two lanes or more are necessary for the Cheyenne. The cuff has an unusual appearance because it has a short addition that appears band-like. This is another oddity, because it seems to have been added to provide eyelets for tying, as in European shoes. This is not a practice of any known tribes, nor was it begun and continued throughout contact. No Lakota do this today.
In terms of distribution of design pattern, a very similar pair of moccasins identified as "Cheyenne/Arapaho type" were collected in the1880s by James Du Pre Alexander, an Irishman. That pair of moccasins has green dye while this pair is beaded green. Cheyenne attributes found on the Irish moccasins are 1) rounder toe, 2) perpendicular row of beads across instep, 3) slant cuff, split in back 4) large design element on the border toe.
The Newman moccasins have a Lakota cut to the toe, no perpendicular band of beads on the instep, and a straight cuff. I would guess they were very likely made by a Lakota. In essence, these are Lakota moccasins. I have seen a photograph of a Rosebud woman wearing this design moccasin, with the U-shape curve to the three row design..
There are several moccasins in this collection which have modified means of tying them on, all based on European concepts. This leads me to the speculation that Mr. Newman played a part in these modifications. The only known examples with European style ties were made for non-Indian trade. It seems unlikely that Mr. Newman would have run across so many catering to this concept.
Child's Anishinabe inspired style of moccasin, machine sewn. May have been commercially produced. Vamp sewn on top of puckered toe, rather than inset. Painted/dyed generic Indian designs on vamp and even on puckered toe. Style suggests Minnetonka moccasin. Made for non-Indians.
These moccasins are typical Lakota moccasins in many respects. They are lazy stitched on buckskin. It should be noted that the large element on the toe is off center, as is common in Lakota moccasins. What is unusual is the careful placement, with an element on each big toe. This speaks to the intent and care of the maker, rather than the tribe. It is significant tribally only in that the elements are not centered on the toes. The nature of the design, split down the middle, make the turn easily accomplished while retaining the integrity of the pattern.
The top of the foot has a green background, with the "hill" pattern, or stepped
"boxes" or "bags". The red beads used are red-white hearts, and the yellow is pumpkin. Another interesting feature is that the upper area around the heel is checker beaded, with alternating squares of beadwork and hide. The border beads are larger, and they have ten beads to each row. Wider lanes were often the case in beadwork of the period after 1890, in order to cover ground faster.
Anishinaabe style moccasins, altered to western method of securing, made of brain tanned buckskin. Typical soft soled, two piece construction with self cuff, and added cloth cuffs like the one seen as an anomaly on the Siouan moccasins. This pair has the puckered toe the Anishinabe are most known for, without the center seam, and with an added vamp. Very simple and sketchy floral and five-pointed star designs have been embroidered with commercial embroidery floss. The vamp seam has been decorated with cross-stitched red floss. A secondary black cuff is sewn on the heel area, below the buckskin cuff, which has been shaped to fit the ankle, and perforated to allow modern, Euro style lacing.
Boy's moccasins in classic Lakota style construction and beadwork. "Buffalo track"/ "Space apart" design in navy beads with border and space apart in "bowtie" pattern in rose-white hearts and green beads, with white. Short cuff, bound in turkey-red calico, which could be flour sack or feed sack. Rawhide soles, one mended. Beads attached with sinew and calico sewn on with thread in a running stitch.
Quilled women's moccasins, perhaps as early as 1880. The quillwork is done in lanes, alternating single, group of three, single. The quills are sewn on in one-quill method. A design of triangles in un-dyed quills is formed in the red three-row groups. A single lane border is made of white background beads, and red and blue boxes and steps. Red rows of beads or quills are referred to as trails. An outer beaded border is typical of Lakota quilled moccasins. Note: Lakota quilled moccasins are nearly always red, or largely red. The beaded border is not complete.
The cuffs on this pair of moccasins have holes punched with a tie on each side like European shoe laces. Very unusual and late addition in all probability.
This breech cloth might also be described as an apron. Tied on originally in front and back separately, this style gained usage after the adoption of trousers. The bead work technique is open appliqué. Faceted beads primarily. Backed with calico(red), very likely a feed sack or flour sack; similar material, but blue, reinforces the top. Red satin ribbons, machine sewn, circle the perimeter, much deteriorated.
The aprons are on a brown wool base with leaves and flowers in openwork spot-stitch using cut glass beads. This apron is symmetrical in both design and color. The results are rather static compared to many other examples of Anishinabe floral work.
One side has a simple five-lobed floral symbol, flanked by red maple leaf patterns, and below them a compound stylized flower flanked by branches of three leaves. Each design element is made of one color, giving a two-dimensional quality overall.The other side is more striking, in part because the wool is less faded. The panel is dominated by a large five-pointed star outlined in four rows of bright red cut glass beads. Inside it, and smaller, is a second more organic five-pointed star in a deeper red, with the interior beaded in yellow. Below the star is a clear transparent glass dogwood blossom with blue stems curving off left and right with four simplified large floral designs. With the exception of the small inner star, all the designs are made with a single color in open spot-stitch. The five-pointed star is thought to have been introduced by the use of the American flag and is not found pre-contact.
The result is a relatively simple apron made to be used by a tribal member. This is a valuable item in the collection, because it is the sort of work that is not always kept or shown in museums as the best of the best. Originally, the maker may have intended to bead the interior of the designs. This apron's simple outline, in fact, seems to be the foundation used to create the fully beaded foliage seen in other examples. Compared to some early Anishinabe floral beadwork, this technique is very common. As early as 1820, some Anishinabe beadwork is outlined precisely like this, using similar abstracted floral forms, but further beaded inside the element in one to three more colors, following the contour of the outline.
This beautiful, simple little vest is beaded on buckskin. It has the bright, crisp feel of Lakota beadwork, with borders of solid green around all edges and up the side seams, with the favorite colors of blue, deep rose white hearts, and
green on a white opaque field. The designs which are isolated on the background show some elaboration, with stepped lines and composite shapes dating them after 1885. The single repeated design shape used is a combination of triangles that was original and personal to the beader. The triangles making up what might be construed as smoke flaps have small triangles along the upper edge which form a scalloped or bat-wing shape. While the same motif is used throughout the vest, the colors change their position within it.
The composite shapes are repeated four times on the back, with the bottom quarter of the back the meat rack design, in dark blue as always. A very fine piece. Well made, wonderful sense of proportion and Lakota use of color.
Belt, Anishinabe, Beaded, spot-stitch, floral, white background
Fully beaded Anishinabe belt with off-white background; design is asymmetrical but with vines that match each other's gracefulness. Typically Anishinabe, the designs are floral, abstracted, and colored non-naturalistically. A single central blue dogwood flower sits between the two sides. The choice of a four-lobe design may tie into the ancient patterns when an X-shaped design, relating to spirituality, held the central position on such a panel, where the two sides of finger woven sashes met. The spot-stitch floral beading follows the contour of the leaf and petal shapes. The transparent white background is stitched in lines parallel to the edges. Sashes such as these could be worn as sashes across a shoulder, wrapped around the head like a turban, or as a belt.
Belt, Beaded, Loomed, labeled "Cynthia Anne Carter"
This belt is loomed, and a label sewn on to it reads "Cynthia Anne Carter". It is woven with a variation of the X pattern, a favorite design motif, common among Anishinabe. Similar belts found in the Milwaukee Public Museum collection and Chandler-Pohrt Collection use the same basic color scheme and similar geometric forms made by Sauk, Fox, Anishinabe, and Potawatomi between 1850 and 1900, and probably later as well.
Belt, Anishinabe, Beaded Floral Spot-Stitch
Woman's belt of buckskin, lined with unbleached muslin. Tie is a self cinch. Fine Anishinabe floral spot-stitch beadwork covers the entire piece; background is not beaded. Circles for centers of flowers are a carryover 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.
Mislabeled as horse gear, this is a standard, typical Lakota woman's belt of a type from last third of the 19th century, and possibly earlier, still in use today. The buckled strap is worn around the waist; the separate dangle portion is slipped over the belt prior to buckling, usually on the woman's left side. The belt and side drop are from different pieces of leather. This may indicate that the belt portion was changed – perhaps due to a change in owner or waistline. The German silver conchos are original, and their attachment in four descending sizes on the drops is the
style and method of attachment in use today. Protective tip on drop is more elaborate than those available today, and needed to protect the drop, which in many cases drags the ground. Newman notes indicate this is from 1880, which is
Anishinabe leggings-- in red velvet fabric with center front panel of black velvet. Original notes state they are men's, however they are probably women's (only 24 inches bottom to top inner seam). Wider width also suggests they are
women's. Center panel is expertly beaded in Anishnabe floral designs, spot-stitch, primarily using faceted beads.The background is not beaded. The panels are bound with satin ribbon, now deteriorated. Fronts of these leggings are significantly faded. The method of beading a panel and then applying it to the front of the leggings was used for both men and women.
Anishinabe loomed sash. Edge design is Ottertail. Small dark elements are variations on the old, abstracted Thunderbird motif. Balance of designs are loomed floral variations. These sashes had many uses; sometimes they were wrapped as turbans. Pink and yellow are the dominant design colors. The sash has a long fringe of red and gray yarn.
There are a number of extant examples of late 19th early 20th c. fully beaded boys suits. This is a good example, and could date from around 1890 or as late as the 1922 given on the original Newman Collection Notes. After 1890, Lakota women began to bead a great number of non-Indian items. Some scholars suggest it was a way of retaining cultural identity after so much of the lifestyle had been curtailed. Another explanation is the end of the nomadic period gave women more time.
The trousers are knicker-length, beaded on the front only. Newman notes refer to the design as the "waterbug" design, a designation not mentioned in any texts or known on Rosebud. This may be a guess on the part of a previous recorder.. It is not unlike what has been known as the spider design. At any rate, these names are descriptive and are not intended to tell a story. The "legs" on the design are the points that Lakota women used to embellish the older, pre-reservation designs. Diagonal stripes are added to the borders that also outline the fly opening.
The vest is also beautifully made, using portions of the design on the trousers, in order to fit a horizontal format. This vest does use the "meat rack" design around the lower edge of back and front of the vest. Use of that design is
usually found on the back only. The vest has a border, also, but this time with the box design. Both trousers and vest are beautifully made, and in good condition.
Very fine example of a Lakota man's buckskin, fully beaded, sinew-sewn vest. This is a classic vest in the style of the 1885 period in many respects, showing somewhat elaborated appendages to beadwork designs beginning to appear at that time. It is interesting to note that the four directions or four winds designs are inconsistent in the directions they turn. A very old design found universally, the design almost always turns clockwise (right facing) among native peoples because it is considered sun wise. The maker possibly did not notice the inconsistency until it would require too much time to correct it, or felt it made a significant difference. Two different shades of green are used, probably out of necessity when the original color ran out, as they are close but not the same. The vest does not use the "meat rack" design on the lower edge of the back, the most common feature to Lakota vests. This may also suggest the vest dates post 1900, when the significance had begun to die out. The larger designs units on the front are sometimes referred to as the turtle design, although there are many variations of it.
Pair of Lakota men's leggings made of stroud or "saved list" trade cloth, dark blue. The distinguishing feature of this fabric is the undyed selvage, which native people left on the garment as decoration. An edge of yellow wool was added to at lower edges, now faded to white. Each leg has an applied beaded strip on buckskin, with blue triangles, apex toward inner leg. These applied strips are sewn on to angle diagonally out as they rise up the leg, and thereby a flap is formed knee down on the outer calf. This is the standard for men's dress during the last third of the 19th century and since. Fine example-- elaborations on triangles place date after 1885, and probably later.
Dress of Mrs. John Burnett, White River, SD. brain-tanned hide; sinew sewn, fully beaded, classic Lakota dress of the style after 1890-as late as 1920. Notched sleeve of the Lakota, "turtle shell "yoke design, (vestige of tail on center front chest in older styles.) Open sleeves, hemline trimmed, yet retaining lowered sides, also a vestige of earlier styles. Fringe thongs on body of dress diagnostic of Lakota dresses of this period. White beaded bands across bodice and around sleeves on otherwise medium blue background, front and back is classic, although can be any color. The diamond shaped elements could be called a variation of the turtle design. Equilateral cross has added triangular appendages, in keeping with the period. Palette is limited to blues, white, yellow ochre, red and some metallic beads. Bold and dramatic designs and colors and contrasts. Three shades of Venetian red white hearts are used.
The skirt portion of the dress is beaded with a distinctly different blue and may be from an altogether different dress, or added to this one if the original skirt was damaged or not finished at the same time.
Aside from the obvious color differences, the feel of the two parts is noticeably different. This skirt has large sequins also, which were made available in the late 19th, early 20th century. This dress is considerably more fragile than the Beard dress.
Child's Anishinabe puckered to moccasins. Soft soled, with true vamp. Ankle cuff. Machine sewn. Red ribbon binds cuff and is used to tie on the shoes. heart shaped flower-like shapes appear in early Anishinabe floral beadwork as do stems with one/two bead appendages giving a barbed or budding appearance heart shaped flowers occur often in Anishinabe work, however phone calls made to Anishinabe elders who bead revealed no name or meaning for this particular pattern. These appear to be typical Anishinabe moccasins of the early to mid-20th century. Newman notes give "Carter" identification.
Child's moccasins, Sioux. At first, the reviewer thought these were made "slipper style", done for the white trade. Lakota children did not wear slip-on moccasins. The large tongue on these was definitely not a part of the slipper style moccasin. These need to be examined again, to see if the moccasins were made for a male, and had as much "cuff" as is found on those so made. The tongue would have been tied up with the thongs, which are not present. The design is very old, as are the colors of blue and white beads. The alternating of white and dark blue in every other row is unusual and gives it the look of similar equilateral crosses quilled on some old Anishinabe moccasins. The beading is uncharacteristically loose and widely spaced. These may have been beaded after construction, which would have made beading awkward. Partially beaded moccasins were once common, and this design is one of the more frequently used ones. These may have been made to demonstrate earlier styles, except missing the ever-important cuff ties. The cuff edge needs to be looked at to see if it has a few slits all around it where a thong passed.
This tiny pair of Lakota or Dakota moccasins could not have been made to be worn. Thy are far too narrow for a child's foot. They lack ties and cuffs. These moccasins, partially beaded, have a design very ancient to Lakota moccasins and that is also found in other Plains tribes. Called the three row design, it predates individual tribal identification. The bead colors are also early, with blue and greasy yellow. The elements, however, are out of proportion for the tiny moccasins, and would have extended no more than 2/3 down the top of the foot. This suggests to me that the beading was done first and then made into tiny moccasins. The way the moccasin tops are cut is also an anomaly. Lakota moccasins are cut so that the cuffs are continuations of the front of the shoe-- meaning the place where a tongue would be attached is a T-slit. The foot opening does not have a scooped out, rounded appearance, as these do. These moccasins suggest that Mr. Newman was consciously trying to incorporate certain objects to give a historic picture of a culture, and sometimes had objects made with absolutely traditional features mixed with absolutely alien ones. Although they are date 1880, it looks evident that these were made as teaching tools as to beading motif only, rather than for indigenous use due to their shape, construction, lack of cuff of any kind, and ties. Another possibility is a more traditionally cut moccasin was altered to become slipper-style; however, it is of unusable size.
Men's Lakota style moccasins in unusual color combinations of deep yellow, bright blue and lavender/pink-- colors represent beader's personal preferences, see pipe bag with combinations of pink and deep yellow. These colors suggest a date of c. 1920-1930. Fully beaded, straight cut cuff, lack of instep cross lane is consistent with Lakota style. Major element on toe in border is associated with Cheyenne and is virtually never seen in Lakota two lane borders such as these-- an indication of possible Cheyenne manufacture. Further references to Cheyenne influences are the use of seven major border designs. On the other hand, cloth binding around the cuff edge was not uncommon on this period Lakota moccasin-- but Cheyenne never adopted that practice. The color palette is not typical of Lakota, however totally outside of Cheyenne range who preferred white background and lots of white space around the elements. There are other moccasins in this collection which do not strictly fit Lakota style, or Cheyenne. They may also be Assiniboine Sioux. These unusual color combinations are also found in their work, in addition to above mentioned anomalies. Assiniboine frequently used the stepped triangle on the top of the foot, and also often had pendant shapes off the points like these do. On the other hand, Assiniboine beaded the tops, except the border, using the Crow stitch.
Two piece, rawhide soled moccasins with added tongue. These were never worn. These are Siouan moccasins-- which have a few feature that are notably outside of Lakota tradition. 1) The major toe element (triangle) on the borders is centralized. 2) The fill in on the bison track seems to be modified crow stitch rather than lazy stitch. 3) There is a perpendicularly beaded instep band. These characteristics can also be found in Canadian Assiniboine (Siouan) moccasins. Tongues have been pieced out of two pieces of leather-- very unusual. When identifying tribal arts, it is necessary to look at all the earmarks to draw a conclusion; one deviation does not prove identity. Even viewing all the features, definitive identification is sometimes elusive.
Beaded in the popular Plains "bison track" design, the moccasins have a two lane border with triangles in blue and red, which are repeated in space between track. A secondary pattern of stepped red boxes runs between triangles. Sinew sewn. Note: these are displayed near the Burnett dress, collected on Rosebud, and may actually be part of the same outfit, although it was not necessary for moccasins to absolutely match a dress. If they were collected with them, and it can be documented, it would be very significant in establishing these irregular moccasins as having originated on Rosebud. These appear to be the same blue as the lower portion of the dress, but should be compared carefully next to each other, and the scrapbook should be consulted to see if reference is made to the two. Should the moccasins be part of the dress outfit, it will increase their value somewhat. The number of anomalies in these moccasins point to them not being from Pine Ridge or Rosebud, ergo, not part of Mrs. Burnett's outfit.
It is not clear why these moccasins are listed as "ceremonial". These are Lakota boy's moccasins, c. 1890-1920. American flags were a popular design on moccasins, vests, bags, etc. However, this particular arrangement cannot be called common. The moccasins appear to be soft-soled, which was common until the child reached the age to cause wear to the sole. These moccasins, like others in the collection, mysteriously lack cuffs, tongues, and ties. These moccasins appear to have been used-- so at one time, presumably, they had these parts. These moccasins also have the lane across the instep, and a perpendicular band up the heel, both Cheyenne elements, though this was by no means assures that they are not Lakota. The missing pieces makes identifying a tribe of origin difficult.