Elizabeth Zentz Horter, 1940-1985
Barry May, Dublin, PA
Morning Star Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Acquired by present owner from the above in 1993
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999
Shoemaker, Innis & Howe, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mad for Modernism: Earl Horter and His Collection, 1999, p. 98, plate 160.
The Honorary Shirt, or War Shirt, was reserved for men of distinction who had exhibited tremendous bravery or sacrifice. It was believed that the wearers of these shirts were imbued with special powers. As such, the shirts were designed to convey stature and were decorated with talismans meant to protect the wearer. The hair locks that so elegantly decorate this shirt represented the warrior's deeds and dedication to his people. The painted panels are references to the natural world, earth and sky.
This shirt is further embellished with dyed, porcupine quillwork, an ancient and unique Native tradition. Although still practiced today, it was largely replaced by the end of the 19th century with beadwork.
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