Native American Photographs by Edward S. Curtis

Piegan Indians

Piegan Indian Photos by Edward S. Curtis

Tribal Summary

Dress

The deerskin garments customarily worn by plains Indians were used also by the Piegan. Primitively ornamentation was with porcupine-quills and with beads made by perforating the brown-striped seeds of the silverberry. Elk-teeth were not used before the acquisition of guns. Formerly the hair of both sexes was parted in the middle and hung loosely. About 1855 young men began to part their hair from crown to temples, and to curl the banged forelock on a heated ramrod. Some braided the hair at the sides, others did not. Women adopted the style now seen, that of parting the hair in the middle and braiding it at the sides, and men now arrange theirs in the same manner. Tattooing was not practiced.

Dwelling

Since the times of the earliest traditions the buffalo-skin tipi has been used by the Piegan.

Food

Buffalo-meat was the great staple. Antelope and mountain game, choke-cherries, service-berries, buffalo-berries, and prairie-turnips were abundant.

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