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Pall Bearers at Chief Kahquados' Reburial, May 1931

A U.S. flag is visible in the background of this group portrait. WHI 33302

Patriotic Embellishment of Native Objects

Ancient warrior traditions of Wisconsin's Woodland Indian peoples are sustained through their disproportionately high service in the United States military. Native artists accordingly combine tribal and national symbols when fashioning objects for powwows and other events that attract a broad public audience. These objects are expressions of the diverse identities of each maker.

Kenneth Taylor made the rattle featured here in traditional fashion from turtle shell, deer antler, turkey feathers, raccoon fur, and elk hide. To commemorate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he applied an image in the colors and pattern of the American flag.

Used in the 1950s and 1960s in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, the shawl featured here displays both American and traditional Ho-Chunk design motifs. Red, white, and blue ribbons and a painted triangle of a United States military insignia (armor) join painted eagle feathers.

The creation of objects by and for Native American veterans of the United States Armed Forces continues ancient traditions of honoring warriors. Jim Cornelius, an Oneida from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, made the Oneida Vetran's Pouch featured here. It incorporates American military medals and ribbons from his service in the Vietnam War.


Ojibwe Turtle Shell Rattle, 2001-2002

Created by Kenneth Taylor.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 2003.4.1


Ho-Chunk Dance Shawl, ca. 1950

Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1999.59.4


Oneida Beteran's Pouch, ca. 1995

Created by Jim Cornelius.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object # 1999.40.1