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Plains indians reproductions

What are Plains indians reproductions, why are they made, why do their quality and authenticity matter, and how to recognize their qualities.

Woolen cloth with white, undyed edge (saved list)

The white undyed edge on woolen cloth was considered a blemish by whites, but Indians loved it and made it a design element. This article describes why white borders on cloth were created, what their purpose was, where wool cloth was made, how it was dyed, what the dyes were made of, and much more.

Dentalium shells

Dentalium is a mollusc with a conical shell that resembles an elephant’s tusk. They were highly valued among North American Indians as ornaments and as currency. They were mined in the northwest pacific coast of the US and Canada. They were then distributed through the intertribal trade network further north, south and east. The Indians of the Great Plains made them primarily into earrings, necklaces and breastplates, but also into other ornaments.

A small white bear, Kansa warrior. His earrings are made of shell hairpipes. Painting by George Catlin.


Hairpipes are narrow white cylindrical tubes that were used as ornaments by the Indians of the Great Plains. They were made mainly from shells and later from bones. Who and how the hairpipes were made, how they were used, and the difference between those made of shell and those made of bone are answered in this article.

A pile of typical Hudson's Bay blankets.

Hudson’s Bay point blankets

Wool blankets played an important role in the Indian trade, representing about 60 percent of the volume of traded European goods. They were manufactured in European factories in a wide range of sizes and weights. Points were narrow lines of woolen fiber woven into the edge of the blanket. The number of lines determined the size and weight of the blanket. The famous Hudsons Bay company introduced a distinctive design, wide stripes of alternating color, mostly one on each edge. This is how the iconic Hudson’s Bay point blankets came into existence.

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