I was quite surprised to see the name Daniel Earring in the Carlisle Indian School records. I was interested to know whether this name was an anomaly or whether it was a name found among Native families. Daniel was Sioux.
At Ancestry.com there is a large collection named the “Indian Census Rolls: 1885-1940”. In reality, I believe this includes 1880 as well, but regardless, these are the people recorded on the special Indian census forms. I was surprised to find numerous families with that surname in several different tribes. Here’s just some of what was found.
- Rose Feather Earring – Sioux (several other Feather Earring family members as well)
- Ear-Ring (Blackfeet)
- Pumpkin Earring – Sioux
- Blue Earring – Brule
- Spear Woman Earing – Blackfeet
- Iron Earring – Cheyenne
- Bird Earring – Blackfeet
- Red Seat Fasthouse Earring – Fort Peck
- Leonard Yellow Earring – Sioux
Indians, not unlike people today, adorned their bodies. The first paintings we have of Native people in what would become the United States clearly shows very artistic adornments.
John White (yes, the John White of Lost Colony fame) painted the first image we have of Native people. In 1584 he painted a Timucan male and female from the region of what is now St. Augustine, Florida. You guessed it, they wore earrings, of a sort, the male included. Jewelry was not just for women in Native society.
Another John White painting depicting a coastal Carolina Indian Chief or Elder shows a different style of earring.