mitemhsa ahkolayi ‘Woman’s blanket/robe/shawl’

Attributed to Oonsaahšinihkwa and Kiihkinehkiišwa
mitemhsa ahkolayi ‘Woman’s blanket/robe/shawl’, 19th century
Wool and silk with metal
Wabash County Historical Museum

Likely made by Oonsaahšinihkwa and Kiihkinehkiišwa for their mother Mahkoonsihkwa ‘Frances Slocum.’ This could be worn in a variety of ways: by doubling over the top portion of the material (where the buttons stop) and draping over the wearer’s shoulders; over one shoulder and pinned under the armpit; or wrapped around the waist and folded at the beltline. The brown ribbons on this shawl were originally black but have faded. The underlying wool appears as the central line of black diamonds on the bottom. The silver buttons forming two different repeating patterns are now tarnished, but at the time of making would have glittered in the sunlight. This beautiful shawl underwent conservation in 2008, and if you look closely you can see new pre-tarnished buttons and stitching repair on some ribbons.