Object photography

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Object description

  • Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux) artist
  • Necklace, 19th century
  • Leather, rawhide, cotton, plum
  • Great Plains, North America
  • L: 32 1/2 in, W: 6 in (L: 82.5 cm, W: 15.2 cm)
  • Gift of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1949
  • E28311
  • Lakota items of personal adornment signaled status, wealth, and military prowess
  • Wild plum trees grew abundantly on Plains in 19th century

This necklace, comprised of a fringe of plumstones (or pits), is at once a fashion statement as well as a genius use of resources. Each pit is strung by carefully drilled holes, graded by size, and worn as a bandolier across the chest. Worn in dance, the plumstones hitting each other to the beat would have made a marvelous sound.