I've come across a few examples of these in museum collections continuing the tradition of painting exploits on hide - like this dress owned by the Sicangu Pretty Woman and passed down through her family for several generations:
Presumably these were meant to be worn by the wives or other female family members of the man whose exploits are delineated.
This is a dress with the drawings credited to Running Antelope of the Hunkpapa, dated around 1880:
This includes a dress made by a Mandan, White Bear Woman and illustrated by her husband Red White Buffalo
This view shows the deeds of Red White Buffalo; the other side shows the exploits of White Bear Woman's brother, Lean Bear.
Here's Silent Woman wearing one of the dresses in the post above for a photograph in Densmore's Teton Sioux Music (part of plate 54). The implication is that dresses like these were only worn by women whose relatives had been killed in battle. Silent Woman's younger brother had been killed by the Crow many years earlier (Densmore, p 367):
Further to what Kingsley was asking, I still don't know about any Short Bull attribution for the coat, but it is illustrated and discussed in Wissler's Decorative Art of the Sioux Indians, pp. 267-9. The drawing of it is much clearer than the photograph in some areas and you can see two crossed bows on the backs (representing an event where two men struck each other with bows; there ae two wound marks on the left sleeve to show where the wearer had been wounded; there are two hand prints on the front to show that the wearer had been stuck with the bare hands of an enemy (or possibly the other way around...?); the three X designs on the back indicate the wearer had saved the life of three friends in battle; four of the Crows bear marks to indicate the wearer had wounded (or killed?) them; the horse tracks show he stole 14 horses (or perhaps had been on 14 horse raids).
The illustration is dated 1897. No idea which Sitting Bull, though the drawings (Crow and Pawnee heads)certainly appear to be Lakota and the date may have nothing to do when it was first photographed...
Last Edit: Sept 9, 2018 7:22:45 GMT -5 by grahamew