A tribute to the great leaders of the Plains, Plateau and Prairies of North America:  Hanskaska is the Lakota word describing a society of head men who had earned the honors entitling them to wear a sacredly ornamented shirt. Each of the men in this collection had this right. Their clothing conveyed many levels of information, readable by their peers– they were in fact, wearing their biography. 

Cathy Smith was commissioned in January of 1996 to re-create the Warshirts of twelve historically important Plains Indian leaders for a private museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The collection consists of the regalia, clothing, and accouterments of each personage as determined from historical photographs, paintings, and informants, both living and historically researched. The Collection was installed in August of 1999, in the private Museum of R. Michael Kammerer.  It was donated to The Booth Western Art Museum in 2020.

Over 60 individual pieces in total, the collection required four years to execute.  The research and accumulation of understanding and artistic skill took twenty-five years.

Each item was created in the same way as it was originally made, using the same materials and techniques of production:  BigHorn Sheep, antelope, buffalo, and deer hides tanned with brains, original stock Venetian seed and pony beads, naturally dyed porcupine quills, sinew or linen thread, original trade items such as wool stroud, brass hawk bells, buttons, silk ribbon, etc.  The only concession to authenticity was the use of hand-painted turkey feathers in place of eagle, hawk, and owl.  
The result is one of the finest collections of material culture of the Plains Indian gathered in one location.  Its real significance lies in the fact that these are reproductions of documented pieces, the majority of which are not in existence or at least accessible to viewing, except in rare historical photographs or paintings. The educational value is self evident.

The collection consists of the ceremonial shirts, leggings, moccasins, headdresses, weapons, and accouterments of the following twelve historical personages:

Mato Tope (Four Bears), Mandan

Periska Rhupa (Two Ravens), Hidatsa

Red Cloud,

Kicking Bear, Mniconjou 

 Medicine Crow,

Petalasharo, Grand Pawnee  

Mountain Chief, Blackfoot

Chief Joseph,
Nez Perce

Little Chief, Suhtai Cheyenne

Little Wolf, N. Cheyenne

Quanah Parker, Comanche

Crazy Horse, Mniconjou/Oglala