19th Century Crow Woman’s Beaded Leggings

Purchase Inquiry


These Crow leggings are made from thick layers of tanned leather, and designed in the style of riding chaps. Undoubtedly, these leggings were made for use when on horseback, which reflects members of the Crow Tribe’s proclivity to incorporate horse riding into their day to day lives. The leggings measure (blank) along the inward seem, and feature plenty of decoration on the front of each leg. This decorating is done with beads sewn into the heavy hide, and prominently feature earthen reds and yellows, along with brighter hues of blue and white. These leggings would traditionally be worn by attaching each leg to a belt and would have normally been paired with a loincloth. The leggings were handmade sometime in the 19th century.

Traditionally, the Crow lived within the region known as the Yellowstone River Valley. This area extended from modern day Wyoming and up through Montana into North Dakota. In their own tongue, The Crow called themselves Apsáalooke, meaning “children of the large beaked bird”. The Crow were known to maintain a nomadic lifestyle, chasing after herds of wild Bison along the Yellowstone River Valley. After the European colonization of North America, the Crow became incredibly infamous amongst colonists due to their vicious raiding parties. A common target of Crow raiders were ill protected travelers who had horses, but in general Crow would pursue any sort of domesticated livestock in the possession of European settlers. The Crow ruled the Yellowstone River Valley until the tribe was eventually restricted to reservations in Montana. This conservation greatly inhibited the Crow’s historically nomadic lifestyle and led to a loss of much of their cultural identity.

Item #: 0004-B