Introduction Patagonia Andes Amazon Mesoamerica / Caribbean Southwest Plains / Plateau Woodlands California / Great Basin Northwest Coast Arctic / Subarctic Contemporary Art

Shasta belt
ca. 1860–1890
Horsehair, leather, wool cloth, buttons and thimbles, cotton string
82 x 9 cm

Northern California Native peoples lived near and interacted with the equestrian tribes of the Plateau. This Shasta belt, made from braided horsehair, speaks to the trade relationship that existed between the Shasta and the tribes of the southern Plateau. The belt incorporates several manufactured pieces—thimbles, brass buttons, red cotton, and a clock gear—which the Shasta probably traded for, in addition to pine nuts, buckskin, obsidian, and the marine-mollusk shells known as dentalia.

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