Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

elk tooth dress
  • unknown Lakota maker
  • elk tooth dress, late 1800s–1942
  • Where object was made: South Dakota, United States
  • buckskin, bone, beads, carving
  • Object Height/Width: 139 x 166 cm
    Object Height/Width: 54 3/4 x 65 3/8 in
  • Gift of William Wilhm
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2240
Label Text

The woman's buckskin dress has faux elk teeth, carved from bone, stitched onto the yoke and onto the sleeves. There is a slit at the back of the neck with a buckskin tie for a closure. There is a fringe on the bottom seam of both sleeves and at hem of the dress. There is twisted fringe at the ends of the sleeves, with red glass beads on every other fringe. The twisted fringe with the red beads at the end are placed at regular intervals about 1/3 of the distance from the sleeve's end. One pair of twisted fringe is on each shoulder, with red beads. There are three rows of widely spaced fringes. There is a red bead at the dress, with two twisted fringes, each knotted with a red bead about halfway down. The bottom row of fringe on the front appears to be single (rather than paired) twisted fringes.