Chief Wolf Robe, Southern Cheyenne, 1898Frank Rinehart and Adolf MuhrFrom the Collections of the Omaha Public Library
Chief Wolf Robe, Southern Cheyenne, 1898
Frank Rinehart and Adolf Muhr
From the Collections of the Omaha Public Library
Woman's Costume - Southern Cheyenne, 1927Edward CurtisEdward S. Curtis's The North American Indian: the Photographic Images, 2001Northwestern University Library
Woman's Costume - Southern Cheyenne, 1927
Edward Curtis
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian: the Photographic Images, 2001
Northwestern University Library
Powder Face in War Costume, Arapaho, 1870National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 180-A-2
Powder Face in War Costume, Arapaho, 1870
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 180-A-2
Apache, 1906Edward CurtisEdward S. Curtis's The North American Indian: the Photographic Images, 2001Northwestern University Library
Apache, 1906
Edward Curtis
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian: the Photographic Images, 2001
Northwestern University Library

Diversity - South

Southern Cheyenne

In the middle of the 19th century, the Cheyenne split into the Northern and Southern Cheyenne. The hard-soled footwear of the Southern Cheyenne was frequently decorated with pigmentation, fringe and tin cone embellishment. Women's boots, however, continued to have beadwork reminiscent of their northern relatives.

Arapaho

Like the Cheyenne, the Arapaho also broke into two groups in the 19th century. With hostility rampant on the Plains, the Southern Arapaho sought to stay south of the Arkansas River in Kansas. Southern Arapaho footwear is evidence of the impact on the south in their designs. Arapaho women wore knee high boots, while the men wore separate soled shoes. Symbolism was very important in Arapaho beadwork; the long rectangle of beadwork on the vamp is a symbol of a buffalo trail.

Kiowa

The Kiowa started out in the area of Montana but, over the course of the 18th century, they migrated south due to pressures by the Cheyenne and Sioux. Along with the Comanche and the Plains Apache to whom they were both closely allied, the Kiowa preferred simple, delicate decoration on their footwear and clothing and relied on pigmentation and fringe for decoration. Women's boots frequently featured a small beaded star or circle on the vamp. Men's shoes often had beaded discs at the throat that symbolized a peyote button, a cactus bud used in peyote ceremonies.

Comanche

The Comanche lived on the Plains since at least the 16th century and were one of the earliest groups to obtain horses. By the 19th century, they lived in the northern part of Texas and parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. Their footwear reflects their close link with the Kiowa. Comanche women wore high boots with pigmentation and silver buttons, while men wore lower shoes decorated with pigmentation, beaded peyote buttons, tin cones and fringe.

Plains Apache

The Plains Apache were buffalo hunters who lived in tipis, in distinct contrast to other Apache groups that were settled agriculturists. Their interest in trading moved them north into the Plains where they eventually became allied with the Kiowa. Their footwear features the hard separate soles common to the Plains, with asymmetrical upturned toes and a steeply angled cut of the upper around the ankles. For decoration, they favoured pigmentation and fringe.
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