Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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three-hide dress
  • unknown Ka’igwu (Kiowa) maker
  • three-hide dress, late 1800s–1928
  • Where object was made: Oklahoma, United States
  • buckskin, cotton, plant fiber, deer hoof, brass beads, beading, dyeing
  • Object Height/Width: 141 x 165 cm
    Object Height/Width: 55 1/2 x 64 15/16 in
  • William Bridges Thayer Memorial
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4192
Label Text

Buckskin dress made from three deer hides. Two hides are sewn together to create the skirt and the third is folded in half and sewn lengthwise to the skirt to create the top section. There is extensive, very long and thin fringe on the ends of the sleeves, across the top of the yoke, along both sides of the skirt, the bottom of the skirt, and at the bottom third of the skirt. At the front and back opening for the neck there is a rectangular beaded panel which has a white background with five vertical blue zigzag lines and four diamond shapes that are red in the center, then green, with a dark blue border. There is a small amount of yellow pigment on both sides near the beaded panels. On both sides near the top of the yoke are two bundles of burgundy colored cotton cloth attached to the dress. They are filled with some kind of dried plant material. Where the top hide attaches to the skirt there are five pairs of long attachments that hang down. Each attachment is a thin piece of buckskin that is wrapped in dyed plant fibers of alternating blue, orange, and light tan color. Below the wrapped sections are small cones of deer hoof and below that is a loop of leather wrapped in red dyed plant fibers. At the top of the bottom third of the dress is a thin row of beadwork which has a white background, and at either side is beaded with dark blue, red and green triangles, and in the center is beaded with red crosses. Below the line of beadwork is a row of fringes and each piece of fringe has three circular brass beads at the top. Along the very bottom edge of the dress is a thin, wave-like row of beadwork that is white at the top and red at the bottom. At the top of each wave is a small dark blue triangle with a white border. The red and white line of beadwork continues down the points at either side of the skirt. the back of the dress is almost identical, but only has three pairs of wrapped attachments with deer hoof, and the fringe near the bottom does not have brass beads on it.