The lot features a Lakota Sioux Otter fur mirror collar from the Badger Society and dating to the third to fourth quarter of the 19th Century. The Iho’ka or Badger Society was one of the Aki’cita eligible societies. Aki’cita (or Akicita) has been often translated as “soldier” or “warrior” but its more accurate implied meaning is more appropriately as “guard” or “police”. These Aki’cita Societies would act as “guards” and watch over the tribe when the tribe moved from one place to another and keep watch for enemy activity when a camp was chosen. Aki’cita also acted as “civil police” to preserve order in the camp and had the right to punish offenders of tribal codes or conduct. Warriors chosen to serve as Aki’cita also had the responsibility to maintain strict control during a Buffalo hunt. The Iho’ka (Ihoka) Badger Society were considered amongst the most extreme warriors of the Aki’cita. They were said to have been started by a man who dreamed of a badger. They often took great risks against seemingly insurmountable odds, emulating the great tenacity found in the behavior of a badger, who would not think twice about going nose to nose with a bear ten times its own size and winning the fight. Among the notable insignia of this society are the society’s crooked lances wrapped in wolf skin, quirts with one serrated edge and otter fur wrist loops along with otter skin yokes which were later adorned with trade mirrors to blind their enemies. This is considered to be one of only a few known authentic original examples of a true Lakota Sioux Iho’ka Badger Society otter fur mirror sash ever brought to public sale. The piece shows a large construction with the fur being cut in such a way to create a sash like design having early green, pink and brown trade silk ribbons adorning the bottom and Indian tanned hide collar at the top. Each side of the sash shows four round trade mirrors evenly spaced with a total of eight being shown overall. All eight of the mirrors are the same size of 2 ¼ inch in diameter and were advertising trade mirrors before being adorned to this sash in the 19th Century. The piece dates to circa 1860-1880 and is truly one of the finer warrior items we have brought for sale. The hide shows wear and loss of fur indicative of its early authentic age. Provenance: From the Historical Native American Artifacts and Weapons private museum collection in Paris, France. The piece measures 43” long without the ribbons (which are 10” long), and approximately 15" wide.
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