akooteeme ‘Skirt’

akooteeme ‘Skirt’, 1820-1840
Wool and silk with beads and metal
Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills,
Michigan, 2208
Collected by Milford Chandler in Wabash County, Indiana

This wrap skirt, created by women of the Mihšiinkweemiša family, is representative of a Myaamia style common in the 1800s which can still be seen today, especially in regalia. A wrap skirt is worn by wrapping the top of the skirt around one’s waist and then doubling the material over in order to hold it tight. This piece is a great example of Myaamia ribbonwork combined with metalwork, both of which exhibit the geometric patterns common in the Myaamia aesthetic and contribute to waawaahsinaakwahki ‘shimmering’. The ribbonwork pattern seen in this piece is often used as the Miami Tribe community pattern, which can be seen in a variety of places, including the Myaamia community flag.

A man, probably Ross Bundy, poses wearing leggings and a wrap skirt featuring intricate ribbonwork and metalwork. Photo courtesy of Wabash Carnegie Public Library Archives, Wabash, Indiana.