The Native American Shield | Plains Indian War Shield | Medicine Shield | Dance Shield

Plains Indian | Native American shields used in battle were decorated with anything that would add power to the wearer. A war shield was very important in that it would sometimes be the first thing an enemy would see and it needed to be very powerful to frighten off anyone that would do harm. Also, a cover or multiple covers over the hard shield would stop the enemy seeing his power and medicine he didn’t want them to see.


There were a few different types of shields used by the Plains Indian. Among them, there was the hard shield made from thick rawhide and then covered with a soft skin shield cover(s), or the other type of shield made of rawhide but supported with a handmade wooden hoop.


medicine shields | war shields | dance shields 


Museum replica of a Crow war shield ca. 1860. The image on the shield is probably a White Mountain Lion beneath a green curved lined line which signifies a magnificent hunter. Made for a client in Colorado.

Plains Indian thick rawhide shield featuring a bear - painted with clay paints, beads,

Eagle fluff, hide glue, buckskin straps, wool trade cloth, etc.

Based on Chief Little Rock’s shield (Cheyenne) ca. 1860

Made for Fort Sill Museum, Oklahoma

Soft shield cover over a hard shield, brass bells, various feathers, earth clay paints, corn husks. Little Rock in Cheyenne, recorded by the Smithsonian as Hō-hăn-ĭ-no-o′) (ca. 1805-1868)

Made for a client in France.

Based on a museum Blackfeet War Shield

Made for customers in New Zealand & Colorado

Hard shield based on an original Plains shield that can be seen at the Buffalo Bill - Center of the West Museum, Wyoming. Made for a client in Scotland.

Soft cover and a hard rawhide shield


Sioux War Shield with soft cover featuring either human | horse hair, otter.. Painted with earth pigment paints. Based on a museum example, but slightly changed for client by adding coyote and otter fur


Replica Apache Shield based on a shield at the Heard Museum. Made for a client in France.

Lakota Sioux Thunderbird war shield | dance shield (based on a museum example)


 Soft shield cover and hard shield. Rain in the Face's shield, but we have changed the Thunderbird / Eagle as per the clients request & added a few items that the client wanted. Hard shield is based on a Hidatsa museum shield featuring a bear. Made for a client in California.


Museum replica Crow Indian War Shield made for a client in Utah

Close up showing the cut out rawhide bear painted dark blue with clay earth pigment paints

Inspired by Rain in the Face's (Lakota Sioux) shield cover 

Rain in the Face (Ité Omáǧažu in Lakota Sioux) with his shield

c. 1835 – September 15, 1905

Four Directions shield on wooden hoop - ca. 1873

buffalo rump / hump shield

Inspired by a Crow shield - circa mid 19th century (with human hair locks) - New Orleans Museum, Louisiana. wooden hoop

Back of a shield with medicine  bundle and deer skin straps

Plains Indian Shield | Native American Shield