Even since I saw the movie “Dances with Wolves,” I wanted a breast plate vest. Indians in the movie, presented Kevin Koster with a breast plate as a symbol of trust and friendship. They knew he was on their side as military troops ambushed that killed them at the frontier moved westward.
I’ve seen many pictures of Indians wearing breast plates in books and movies. They are cultural icons of form and function. The bone pieces come from buffalo. The bones were rasped into tubes slightly tapered at each end. They were hollow and strung together to form a protection against arrows like today’s bullet proof vests.
It was a sign of bravery, protection and pride. I saw one in the Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut.