Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Indian Blanket Coat:

The blankets, however, Indians are beginning to use as material for coats, similar to the blanket coat worn by Americans.  They give to these garments the shape of a paletot with hood but without buttons.  They are held in place only by means of the belt.  The garment is cut in such a way that the colored stripes are used for ornamentation.  The straight edge with the stripes forms the lower part of the coat; nay, even the strokes denoting the quality (1, 2, 3, point blanket) are left in view; and stripes outline shoulder seams and extend along the base of the hood.  This kind of coat I saw among the

Herantsa, the Crows, Assiniboin, Cree, Sauteurs, both for children and young and old men; women and girls, on the contrary do not wear them.  The hood is pulled up in bad weather and here and there one sees on
the peak of one of these a feather for decoration.  Indians wear white, red, green, sky blue, and indigo blue blankets.  Special sizes are woven for children.”  
The above passage and line drawing are both from the Journal of Rudolph Kurz.