Nehiyawak (Plains Cree)  

Man’s vest

  • About 1890
  • Hide, glass beads, metal beads, cotton cloth, cotton binding tape, and thread (lined with a cloth flag)
  • 19 11/16 × 16 5/16 in.

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Guido R. Rahr, Sr., Class of 1951P; 985.47.26596

visibilityLook & Discuss

Women on the Plains gathered seeds, nuts, roots, and berries for food and medicinal purposes. The woman who made this vest filled the panels with embroidered leaves, berries, and flowers. If you look carefully, you will see that she has captured the life cycle of a plant in her beadwork.

explore the object

This vest was made using a spot-stitch bead embroidery technique. Spot stitching involves stringing seed beads onto a thread and laying the beaded thread down on the surface of a piece of cloth. The string is then tacked down in spots, usually every 3 to 4 beads. This technique allows the artist to fill a space quickly and make curving designs.

This vest is also unique in that it uses recycled fabric. The lining may be cut from a Canadian flag.

Plains: Food