Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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child's beaded dress
  • unknown Lakota maker
  • child's beaded dress, late 1800s–1928
  • Where object was made: United States
  • buckskin, beading
  • Object Length/Width: 100 x 114 cm
    Object Length/Width: 39 3/8 x 44 7/8 in
  • William Bridges Thayer Memorial
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2793

The buckskin dress has a flared hemline and fully beaded yoke, including the sleeves. The yoke is created from a single piece of buckskin, folded lengthwise to form the yoke and the long flaps for the sleeves. There is short fringe at the ends of the sleeves and edges on the underside (which are not actually stitched together). There is short fringe along the side seams and hemline. It has lane stitched beading.

There are two rows of small medium blue beaded squares on the skirt with longer buckskin fringes. The hemline is decorated with a single band of medium blue beads, with blocks of white flanked by thin red lines.

The beaded decoration on the yoke and sleeves consists of a medium blue field with a white border with open red crosses with yellow centers and dark blue vertical outlines. There is a white band with the same decoration across the top of the shoulders and down the sleeves. The front and back panels have the same decoration. There is a red cross at either end with a dark blue square, outlined in white, at each end and in the center. There is a green eight pointed star in woultinein red, then white, with small red triangles attached with white lines at each point. The center of the star is a square of metal beads, outlined with green, red, metal, yellow, dark blue, then white which continues as the outline on the points. The center design, under the neck opening, is an inverted green triangle with two green right triangles below, each with a square of metal beads in the center and each outlined with red. A white outline joins the three triangles together. This design is also present on the back, but is interrupted by the slit and tie which allows the dress to be worn.