Native American leaders used the practice of gift giving to create and sustain alliances, and were expected to demonstrate the important values of reciprocity and generosity. When Euroamerican military officers and traders formally "dressed" chiefs and leading warriors in military hats and uniforms, they often responded with gifts of their own martial regalia. In their expedition journals, Lewis and Clark described exchanging their own garments, such as shirts, with eminent men from several tribes, including the Nez Perce, Mandan, and Shoshone. The most famous such event occurred in August of 1805, when Lewis encountered the Shoshone leader Cameawait. Uncertain of the American's intent, Cameawait dressed Lewis in his own clothing, so that if the party were attacked, the explorer would appear to be one of them. Lewis immediately reciprocated. When Lewis returned from the expedition, he was painted in his Shoshone regalia, including an otter and ermine tippet or cape that he proclaimed "the most elegant piece of Indian dress I ever saw." The romanticized painting, by C.B.J. Fevret de Saint-Memin, portrayed Lewis as a cross-cultural diplomat. Charles Willson Peale, a pacifist, executed a similar, life-sized wax model of Lewis (now lost), replacing the gun with a calumet.
See Castle McLaughlin's article "Awakening the Bear" for more on Lewis and Clark's Grizzly Claw Necklace.