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     Taken as a whole, the headdresses of the Plains warriors were meaningful and splendid creations. Moreover, their mobile qualities were equal to those in the best work of this kind being done by contemporary artists. The Indians employed the identical principles of motion seen in metal sculptures today, for their bonnets swayed and turned with every move and breeze. Again, the entire piece was carefully balanced in mass and texture and color.

     Really to appreciate these spectacular products, however, one must take them in his hands and pore over them like a detective searching for clues, for when he does, he discovers that the owners have added secret bits of beautiful beading and symbolic paint marks in places so hidden that the casual viewer would never know they were there. The point is, that they treated their headdresses as holy things, and so with the greatest reverence.

To Read More About the Plains Indians Find the Book-
"The Mystic Warriors of the Plains", written by Thomas E. Mails


1. Dodge, "33 Years Among Our Wild Indians" pg. 297-310

2. Catlin, "Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians", Vol. I, pg. 32-32.


PAGES IN THIS ARTICLE Introduction~Four Types ] Horned Headdresses ] Pictures of Horned Headdresses ] Golden Eagle Feather Headresses ] Pictures of Golden Eagle Feather Headdresses ] Hat~Cap~Roach ] Animal's Skin Headresses ] Headdress Storage ] [ Conclusion~Footnotes ]

SHOT IN THE EYE-OGLALA SIOUX ~ Shot in the Eye wears another of the enthralling buffalo horn bonnets collected by White Bull. The rectangular beaded section has a buffalo's head in the center. The warrior's turtle, with his navel cord enclosed, is tied to the skullcap. The horns are very large, perhaps an unusual size for horned bonnets. Yet they are hollowed and relatively light.

A photo of a Sioux Victory Dance taken by Frank Fiske, Custer Album, shows a bonnet with horns as large. H. H. Cross also painted bonnets like this. Remiftgton and Borein saw many bonnets with huge horns and recorded them. Alice Fletcher, Teton Sioux Music, BAE Bulletin 61, shows fantastic Sioux bonnets of many kinds-see plates 9, 12, 25, and 69 for examples. ~ Thomas E. Mails

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