Hair Pipe Breastplates of the Plains Indian (Native American Indian)

A bone breastplate was a popular chest ornament / chest armor.  The long bones called hair-pipes, were made with bones from buffalo, birds, or manufactured by the Whites - then assembled by the Indians.  The top of the plate was tied around the neck with a thong, and other thongs at the bottom secured it around the waist.  Since the hair-pipe bones were difficult and expensive to obtain, the number of bones in the plate often indicated the wealth of a warrior.  Such breastplates were worn on occasion in battle, but could be penetrated easily by an arrow or a bullet, so they were mainly a decorative or medicine item.  Plush breastplates of otter skin were also covered with mirrors, gorgeously decorated with quills, and used for ceremonial dances

We utilize real bone hair pipe or buffalo horn hair pipes, glass and brass beads, old antique trade beads, abalone, gorgets, bear claws, beaded rosette(s), buffalo fur, mirrors, feathers, ribbon, medicine bundles, deer hide ties and fringe from smoked and brain-tanned buckskin

custom made breastplates


(short) to (long)


Plains Indian arm bands

hair pipe arm bands


Northern Plains Women's Breastplate

Breastplate - length from the top of the beaded to bottom (not incl. the leather neck strap) 24 inches. Buckskin, abalone, various types of beads - i.e. pony beads, crow beads , brass beads & trade beads, etc.


Plains Indian Choker

Northern Plains Women's breastplate

hair pipe choker
plains breastplate
Plains Indian Breastplate

(Not photographed) Breastplate - 25 hair pipes each side, plus 26 center hair pipes. Length from top beads to bottom beads (not including braided leather neck strap) 13 inches. Leather, abalone, various types of beads, i.e. white hearts, crow beads and brass beads, etc.


bone hair pipes, brass beads, abalone, etc

"Finella Lodge"
by Auchenblae, Aberdeenshire AB30 1TR
Tel: +44 (0)1561 320914

MEMBERS OF IACA (Indian Arts & Crafts Association)




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