Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is nominated for 10 Oscars this year including Best Costume Design which comes as no surprise to those who've seen the movie. Costume Designer Jacqueline West and Costume Cultural Advisor and Osage Nation member Julie O’Keefe, put tremendous effort into preserving the history of the Osage tribe through their meticulous attention to detail, including visits to the Museum of Native American History here in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Image courtesy of Harper’s BAZAAR. Screen grab from the film’s wedding scene.
We met with the museum director, Jazlyn Sanderson, to get her insights on their visit to the museum and the specific cultural makeup of both outfits they drew inspiration.
Sanderson explained how aspects of the two outfits in the MONAH collection appear throughout the film, for example, multiple women’s outfits from the film’s wedding scene (reference image above) mirror the skirts, blankets, and details of the wedding coat in the collection. 
From left to right: Osage Woman’s Wedding Outfit and Osage Woman’s Prairie Thistle Outfit at MONAH.
The process of collecting information about these outfits was thorough. They took the outfits out from the display case in order to get exact measurements of the pieces, take images, and more.
"Any form of documentation you can think of, we did it,” Sanderson said. 
Image courtesy of Museum on Native American History
A traditional Osage wedding outfit is typically composed of hand-sewn and beaded garments adorned with finger-woven sashes. These attire pieces are commonly crafted from a variety of materials, including wool, silk, plumes, brass, silver, gold, jewels, leather, and glass beads.
The coat comes from a long-standing tradition and shows that the bride comes from a family of notability.
"The history of those coats started all the way back in Thomas Jefferson’s time, when we would send delegations to meet with government leaders, the way diplomats would do today, and we would exchange and give gifts. And there’s a story about a chief admiring, I think, President Thomas Jefferson’s coat and Jefferson takes it off and gives it to the chief. But the thing about Osage men is that they’re huge, statuesque men, very great in stature. So the coat didn’t fit. Instead, what the Osage did [when they received these coats] was to give the coats to their daughters. It brings status to a daughter who wears one. Then when she brings it home, the Osage start putting their own ribbon work and twist on the coat. And when she wears it on her wedding day, everyone knows that she comes from a very prominent family,” O’Keefe said in her interview with Harper's BAZAAR.
Additionally, Sanderson explained how it was customary during that period at an Osage wedding for the bride and groom to give gifts to wedding guests, rather than the modern-day tradition we are used to where guests give to the newlyweds. 
The Osage Women’s Prairie Thistle outfit at MONAH consists of hand-beaded embroidery & weaving, wool, glass, and copper beads, and silk rayon jewelry. 
Sanderson explained that this was worn by wealthy Osage women and that can be reflected in the imported silks used for the garments and the hand-beaded details. 
See the Osage garments and more at MONAH during your next visit to Bentonville but first here are some important details:
  • Location: 202 SW O St, Bentonville, AR 72712
  • Parking: Free and located in front of the main entrance (see map here).
  • Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am-5 pm.


We’re happy to help you with any additional information needed during your stay in Bentonville. Our Visitor’s Center is open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. Stop by and see us at 406 SE 5th Street, Suite 6.