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Native American Breastplates

A breastplate is worn over the torso to protect from injury, an item of religious significance, or as an item that shows status. The long bone beads are called hair-pipes, made with bones from a buffalo, bird, or manufactured then assembled by the Indians. The top of the breast plate is tied around the neck with a string or a leather strap, and others at the bottom secure it around the waist. Hair-pipe bones were difficult and expensive to obtain long ago and today as well, the number of bones a plate often indicate the wealth of the warrior who wore or wears it. Breastplates were worn on occasion in battle,to prevent being penetrated by an bullet or an arrow, so mainly breastplates were decorative or s medicine item.

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