QUILLWORK, BEADWORK and PAINT
QUILLWORK (a form of embroidery)
- Quills were used to decorate clothing, mocassins, bags, and baskets.
- Only certain women were trained to collect and decorate with quills.
- They got the quills by throwing a blanket over a porcupine and could
then pick the quills out of the blanket.
- Different sizes of quills were used for different types of embroidery.
- The quills were dyed different colors.
- After the quills were flattened then sewn to make designs.
- Quills were soaked in water to soften.
- Birchbark baskets were decorated with quills. An awl was used to poke
holes in the bark. Quills were placed in the holes to make designs.
- Glass beads replaced quills - the beads were brighter and easier to work with.
- Various tribes made different designs and used different colors.
- Beaded clothing and items were used for special occasions.
- bison robes, tipi covers, parfleches, and other objects of hide or skin were painted
- colors came from minerals, clay soils, berries and roots of plants
- iron ore - reddish color
- other minerals - green, blue, yellow, orange, purple
- coal, charcoal, soot - black
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credits for graphics and information
J.Giannetta, June 2002
(updated July 2011)
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