Chuck "Winter Heart" Reddick


(1949 - 2011)  A car accident in the Dakotas over thirty years ago changed the direction of Chuck Reddick’s life.  He spent his recovery on a Lakota Sioux reservation and it was there he learned the Plains Indian culture and the techniques for making the traditional shirts for which he is so prominently known.  Reddick not only made shirts which are cherished by collectors as unique and stunning wall art, he also built dance gear for many Native American dancers.  In 1992 he built the outfit that Kevin Hagan, of the Yourok Nation, danced in in Washington D.C.  In 1994 Reddick won the “Best of Show” for a bow quiver and shield at the Best Western and Indian Show held in Pasadena, California.

Reddick’s pieces are meticulously fashioned using the traditional techniques he learned on the reservation.  The dyes he used on his shirt’s deer hides are from plants and minerals such as the red from prickly pear juice, the yellow from Mormon tea and the purple from sweetgrass.  The beads he used are antique trade beads attached with traditional techniques such as the “lazy stitch;” roughly 100 beads fill a square inch.

A self-described “mountain man,” Reddick was involved with pre-1840s historical re-enactment of the fur trade era for the past fifteen years and was a member of one of the oldest black powder clubs in the United States.  In 1993, Reddick was the first in the nation to organize an authentic powwow/rendezvous with 25 Native Americans and 25 mountain men – all of whom sold personally hand-crafted items.  Three dance drums and thirty-six singers entertained over 4000 visitors to the encampment of 25 tipis and an authentic mountain-man camp.  This is where Reddick was given his Indian name:  Winter Heart.  Reddick has worked with Sioux, Cheyenne, Blackfoot and Yourok (from the northern coast of California).  He also brought his unique skills and knowledge to Head Start as a special education teacher, offering demonstrations of living history to over 7,000 students at Phoenix, Arizona schools - close to the area he called home.  

"He Who Kills Crows" Ceremonial War Shirt Re-Creation

Turquoise Tortoise is lucky to be offering this truly rare warrior shirt from the absolute master of their re-creations. 

According to information that Reddick himself wrote about this shirt when he created it in 2003, it is a reproduction based on an 1870s Lakota Sioux shirt belonging to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The name derives from the fact that the Crows, as a tribe, were disliked by other Plains Indians since they were the first to serve as scouts for the cavalry.

Made of 5 deer hides, this masterful Native American war shirt reproduction is stained with walnut and red cedar. Flat charcoal and terracotta paints are used to replicate ash and blood or berry stains, respectively. The laced side openings made this a cooler summertime shirt. Sixty black human hair ties attached with red trade wool represent kills. (It was the belief that hair contains a spirit, and to have a lock of the enemy's hair was to have power over him.) Brass trade tacks from Britain adorn the hide. 

There are approx. 14,000 seed beads sewn by Chuck "Winter Heart" Reddick into the hide. The many and varied beads of the necklace include: red pipe stone beads which are green inside, black and white chevron beads, cross trail beads, black and white melon beads, and red "rock candy" beads. The four discs are made from buffalo jaw bones. The necklace has black bear claws representing the power of the bear. The medicine pouch contains beans and corn to feed the gods and sweetgrass and sage used for cleansing.

The shirt comes on a custom hanger ready to add a unique and authentic touch to the walls of your home.