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Turquoise And White Hairpipe Bone Breastplate

Turquoise And White Hairpipe Bone Breastplate

$228.00 $348.00

Turquoise And White Hairpipe Bone Breastplate From Tribal And Western Impressions Fringed edges - Bottom beading - Center Shell And Feathers 
Normal Retail Pricing $348.00 Special Internet Pricing Only $228.00

Very impressive turquoise painted hairpipe bone breastplate with fringed edges, bottom beading and center shell embellishment with hanging feathers. Hand crafted from Leather, White and Turquoise Hairpipe, Mother of Pearl Disk , small black and turquoise pony beads, brass beads and feathers. 

For nearly two centuries white men who have traded with the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands and the Great Plains have referred to a tubular bead measuring 11⁄2 inches or more in length which they carried in stock by the name of "hair pipe." The origin of the name is obscure. Certainly the name itself fails to suggest the variety of ways in which Indians employed these long beads as articles of personal adornment. Nor should the application of this name to articles made by Whites for trade to Indians identify this form of ornament as a white man's invention. It appears more probable that the trade hair pipe was a white man's substitute for a type of long, cylindrical ornament which had its origin in prehistoric Indian culture.


A true status symbol, bone breastplates were in wide use as a type of armor by the early 19th Century. Today they are part of many ceremonial events. Long, hollow hair pipe dates far earlier than the pre-Columbian period for Indian ornamental dress. Its popularity grew from Eastern tribes use of shells, bone and stone. Eventually Colonial traders introduced glass and copper to necklace design in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Plains Indians used some hair pipe design for earrings – bone was preferred over shell. By the 19th Century larger, elaborate breastplates were made for ceremonial occasions.

The objects man makes are called artifacts, and every artifact, whether it is beautiful or ugly, crude or refined, utilitarian or ceremonial, is a reflection and product of man's skills, his techniques and his arts. Artifacts reflect the ideas, the concepts, and the knowledge acquired or learned a member of a tribe. Members of a particular tribe use certain techniques, and create a particular style because that is their tradition - a replica of yester year.

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