This Plains Indian woman wears a striped shawl (Trade Blanket).
Trade blankets have long been an integral part of Native American culture. They're used for clothing, bedding, warmth, ceremonial dances and gifts for important occasions.
The original Indian trade blankets were the multi-striped point blankets imported by the Hudson's Bay Company from English woolen mills. Trade blankets were among the earliest items of exchange between American Indians and Europeans fur traders in the 1700's. From 1780 to 1890 the blanket was a staple in every fur trader's inventory and thousands upon thousands found their way into indigenous hands.
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