The Ostuw collection features Crow, Blackfeet and Sioux shirts, all brain tanned with one repurposed Canadian mounted police jacket. Of note is the complete outfit - shirt, leggings, and blanket belonging to "Lone Star" Deitz, a Hidatsa war shirt worn by Tom Hawk, and a Blackfeet Jacket belonging to "Fine Bull." These shirts are decorated with beads strips, silk ribbons, and drops made of ermine and horsehair. 

Native American Pipe Tomahawk and War club Weapons

Clubs and Hawks

The collection contains over 100 weapons including a number of rare pipe tomahawks, stone, bladed, ball and gunstock clubs, knives, bows, arrows, and rifle scabbards. The age of these pieces range from the 1820's to the 1890's. A few are ceremonial pieces made after. Included are weapons from the Cheyenne, Sioux, Northern Plains and Eastern U.S. The stone clubs were early. The gunstock clubs did not come along until after they had seen the “white man” hold his empty rifle by the barrel and use the stock as a club, which apparently was effective and worth copying. The pipe tomahawks and iron fighting axes were made by blacksmiths and used as trade items. Natives often added their own haft. The pipe tomahawks were generally gifted as a symbol of war to peace both by the government and the trappers/traders.

Native American Beaded Knife Sheaths

Knives and Sheaths

Joel Ostuw was an avid collector of both the representative and the unusual. The knives and sheaths include trade, frontier, and native-made pieces. Prior to the “white man” the steel knife was unknown. Once available they were a highly desired trade item. Some were repurposed household knives, others were made from a steel file, and some were made specifically for trade with the natives. Many of the sheaths were utilitarian while others were highly decorative using beads or quills. The Crow on the other hand favored a heavier sheath/belt made of harness leather and adorned with brass tacks. All the knives and sheaths in the collection are from mid 19th century through the early 20th century.

Native American Artifacts

 The Ostuw Collection  also features both Plains and Eastern artifacts from, the last half of the 19th century including hide pictorials, hair pieces, pipe bags, moccasins, headdresses, horse gear, bow and quivers, and rifles and scabbards. 

Antique Native American Artifacts
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By Seth Hamman,

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