History in Your Pocket: Indian Princess Head

US map kims koins coin collecting numismatics
By Addicted04 – Own work with Natural Earth DataThis vector image was created with Inkscape., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16937043United

The United States, again?  Yes, I’ve decided to do at least one from the US per month.  Otherwise, I’d just focus on world coins as I love identifying, cataloging, and writing posts about them.


This article happens to be about my favorite design.  As I started coin collecting many of the coins I saw had interesting designs that I liked.  None hit me like this one, though!

The first time I saw it was while I was reading 100 Greatest US Coins by Jeff Garrett.  The design is included three times.

US – $1, 1856, Slanted 5

Indian Head Obverse kims koins coin collecting numismatics Indian Head Reverse kims koins coin collecting numismaticsThis design is known as “Indian princess head.”


World Coin Map

On Fridays, we post about specific coins.  The location of the capital or relevant locale is posted to our coin map.

Indian Princess Head Design

This is actually Miss Liberty, from the Type 1 coin, in a headdress.  So, it isn’t an Indian and it simply uses a headdress as ornamentation with little or no thought for indigenous peoples, the appropriate use of a headdress, or any other cultural meanings or significance.

This is cultural appropriation, which is something to be avoided.

The United States – The Brief

United States Flag Kims Koins Coin Collecting Numismatics

My earlier brief discussed a very general overview of the US.

This brief is going to focus on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, since it recently passed on October 9.

This began as Columbus Day in remembrance of his arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492.  This, of course, obscures the facts; millions already lived here, European settlers decimated (and we continue to decimate) the indigenous populations and cultures, and celebrating Columbus Day without any regard for these populations simply perpetuates the atrocities.

The atrocities were done by settlers and our government.  Our government has been horrible to the indigenous population by killing millions, stealing their land, and continuing to oppress and marginalize them.

Most recently, the Keystone XL Pipeline extension was routed in a way that damage to “sacred sites, pollution, and water contamination” was possible.

Only through sustained protests was this stopped by Obama.  He also cited US leadership on climate change as a reason to end this.

45*, of course, signed a presidential memorandum reviving this and the Dakota pipeline.

The first Indigenous Peoples’ Day was held in Berkeley in 1992.  Since then it has grown and spread to cities and states.

Links (may be affiliate):

  • Digital Caliper
  • Krause
  • Mega Red