Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

dance shield
  • unknown Plains maker
  • dance shield, late 1800s–1915
  • Where object was made: United States
  • cotton, rawhide, pigment, red-tailed hawk feathers, feathers, metal
  • Object Height/Width: 69 x 67 cm
    Object Height/Width: 27 1/8 x 26 3/8 in
  • William Bridges Thayer Memorial
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1282

This is a circular shield with cotton on one side and rawhide on the other with dark down feathers ringing most of the shield, except the top portion. Very deteriorated flight feathers of an unidentified bird hang from the edges where the down is located. Red-tail hawk feathers were bound over the top of the deteriorated feathers. Two metal bells are sewn to the top of the circle.

The cotton fabric is painted yellow with a green circle at the top and bottom. A dark wolf and bison are facing each other. The rawhide side has a design with red, yellow and green triangles, outlined in dark blue.