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Prairie Shade

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This Sioux from the 1800s is wearing a calico shirt and holds a carved wooden ‘horse stick’ – strong medicine symbolic of the tribe’s regard for the animal upon which their lives depended. Some horse sticks were crudely carved; more often than not, though, they featured superb carving. Many were also decorated with horsehair and leather and were painted.

The brave also holds an umbrella. Native Americans liked acquiring white-man things like parasols, which they found useful on the prairies where there was little shade.

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