GREAT PLAINS SHAM
The repeated geometric designs on this subtly patterned blanket evoke the unique functional art of Plains Indians. Women of the Great Plains tribes–Sioux, Arapaho, Kiowa, Blackfoot, Cheyenne and others–created clothing, moccasins, leggings, bags and pouches made of tanned animal hides. The skins of deer, sheep, elk and buffalo were decorated with embroidery, quillwork, painting, and rawhide stitching and lacing. The pieces were sometimes embellished with beads, feathers and fringe. This decorative art using abstract geometric designs was primarily the creative work of women. Realistic art such as the hide painting on tepees and robes was practiced chiefly by men recording war or hunting deeds.
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