- Museum number
Charm composed of several elements that are stringed together with indigenous hemp? yarn (hand plied).
A weasel skin with fur complete with head, legs and and tail. Its head is smeared with thick green pigment on the forehead and the part below the jaw is painted with red pigment including the throat.
Three locks of human hair are attached to the lower part of the weasel's body. Two are auburn colour and a thinner one belonged to a dark-haired person.
A red fingerwoven strip made of buffalo (?) hair is tied to the weasel skin and is rimmed with white glass beads and has a 'prayer bundle' made of mammal skin which may contain personal 'medicine' (herbs, or tobacco).
A second bundle is tied at the neck of the animal and appears in the shape of a folded package (made of bladder?) that may contain additional materials.
- Production date
- 19thC (probably)
Height: 60 centimetres
Width: 10 centimetres
Depth: 3 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The object may have been used tied to the hair, around the neck, to a shield, for personal protection, or as part of a medicine bundle (see: Scriver 1990 Blackfeet: artists of the northern plains: 194). Weasel skins were used by NW Plains peoples, in particular by Blackfeet. An individual wearing one such charm around the neck appears in a photo of Weasel Tail (Blood), archived in the Provincial Archives of Canada published in Paul Raczka 'Ohkiniksi: war medicines of the northwest plains' in The people of the Buffalo: the plains Indians of North America eds. C.Taylor and H.A. Dempsey (Tatanka Press, 2003).
The Crow Tobacco Society included among the society regalia a weasel skin that had to be carried in processions part of their ceremonies. (Max Carocci, 22/10/2010)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984-1985 17 Jan-7 Jan, Museum of Mankind, Thunderbird and Lightning: Indian Life in North America, 1600-1900
2010 6 Jan-5 Apr, British Museum, Room 91, Warriors of the Plains: 200 years of Native North American honour and ritual
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Other BM number: 1034 (Oldman number)