Lakota Sioux Leggings

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These Lakota Sioux leggings were a common item for any adult male of the tribes located in the regions of North America known as The Great Plains. Made from skins of buffalo and deer, these pants were expertly hand crafted and well worn. This pair is fringed along the outside seem, a common practice. The fringing extends from the ankle to below a pocket on either leg. A decorative pattern is embroidered along the front of the leggings in red, grey, and tan dyed porcupine quills. The back can be secured by a small belt buckle, and a series of buttons are sewn along the waist band, from which shoulder straps could be attached.

This pair of leggings were found on the field of The Battle of Little Bighorn. Lieutenant Colonel Custer and his troops made a last stand in this battle against a collection of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne bands led by Chief Sitting Bull and Chief Crazy Horse. Tensions with Great Plains tribes arose in the late 19th century, after the U.S. Army violated previous treaty agreements when gold was discovered in the land beyond the Indian Reservations. Betraying the treaty incited many tribesmen to leave reservations and join Chief Sitting Bull and Chief Crazy Horse in Montana. The U.S. War Department issued an order to the gathered Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne natives: return home, or risk being attacked.

Fighting began on June 17th, 1876, when a force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back three columns of U.S. soldiers. On June 25th, refusing to wait for reinforcements, Custer led his 7th calvary to scout ahead of the U.S. encampment. By midday, Custer and his 200-man strong battalion entered the valley of Little Bighorn, where they would be overwhelmed by a decisive attack led by Chief Crazy Horse. Despite attempts to rally his men, Custer was swiftly defeated by the collection of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne forces.

These Leggings likely adorned a Lakota Sioux warrior during the battle. Typically, these leggings would be worn with a decorated Lakota War Shirt and moccasins.

Item #: 0001