Robe, c.1700 – 1740, Eastern Plains artist, probably Illinois, Mid-Mississippi River basin, Native tanned leather, pigment, Paris (France), musée du quai Branly. Photo: Musée du quai Branly/Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado.

Plains Indians have had a bad time. Nineteenth-century expansion drove them from the lands they had lived and roamed freely on for thousands of years. The American government confined them to reservations. A campaign of “assimilation” removed Native American children from their families for schooling. Pop culture has been equally cruel. For decades, Plains Indians were the designated enemy in Westerns, characterized as fearless “savages”...

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