Published on March 25, 2013 by Casey
Like feather warbonnets, buffalo horn headdresses were traditional regalia of certain Plains Indian warriors. These were helmets of buffalo hide with a pair of buffalo horns attached, frequently adorned with shaggy buffalo fur and a buffalo tail trailing behind. In many cases ermineskins and war feathers were hung from the headdress, as in the second picture. Sometimes a horned headdress was even combined with a feather trail, as in the third picture.
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The spiritual and ceremonial importance of horned headdresses to the Plains Indians was similar to that of feathered warbonnets. Only distinguished male warriors wore this sacred kind of regalia. Horned headdresses were rarer than eagle-feather warbonnets, because they were used by fewer tribes (only the Sioux and a few other tribes of the northern Plains wore this kind of headdress) and also because only warriors of certain clans or who had accomplished specific deeds wore bison horns.