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Quillwork and Beadwork

Our collection contains many beautiful quillwork and beadwork objects. My virtual exhibit shows some objects in our collection that caught my eye. Quillwork was made with dyed porcupine quills. Beadwork became more popular after the 1830s as beads became available from Euro-American traders.

A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Gretchen2014


NA.403.226
Northern Plains | Amoskapi P...
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Exhibit notes: Horse Mask made from bison hide with bison hair and quillwork.

Museum record: NA.403.226 | ca. 1850 | L: 35 in, width: 20.5 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | tanned bison hide mask that covers neck and head. One side plain, other side painted turquoise blue. Two opposing halves (night/day). Bound in center with leather strips laced through and painted brown/black - bisecting the two. Covered with 64 forked motifs in red porcupine quillwork representing buffalo hooves (Thunder). Circular blue quillwork around eye holes with red quillwork in arrow shapes surrounding (Lightning) eyes. 12 up pointing arrows above the eye hole on brown side, 8 on blue side. Tufts of bison hair above each hoof print (souls=scalps of enemy). Added 2" fringe around snout, red quill wrapped at base of each fringe. Some replacement quills in orange and yellow. Leather ties along bottom to hold in place. This hood is featured in "American Indian Horse Masks," 2006, Hawk Hill Press, pg. 30-31. | l.312.2006.1654.jpg | l.312.2006.1654v3.jpg | l.312.2006.1654v4.jpg | NA.403.226.v2.jpg | l.312.2006.1654v2.jpg | na.403.226.jpg | na.403.226v2.jpg | na.403.226v3.jpg | na.403.226v4.jpg | NA.403.226.v1.jpg | NA.403.226.v3.jpg | NA.403.226.v4.jpg | horse mask | tanned bison hide | bison hair | pigment | sinew | porcupine quills | Northern Plains | Amoskapi Pikuni | Blackfeet

NA.507.7B
South Dakota | Sioux | Lakot...
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Exhibit notes: Notice the use of quills, beads, and horse hair for decoration.

Museum record: NA.507.7B | ca. 1910 | L: 22 in, width: 8.875 in | Irving H. "Larry" Larom Collection | Ritual and Recreation: Toys. Male -- Stuffed buckskin doll with shirt having cut fringe, wrapped quillwork tab on front and back collar with quillwork strips. Plain buckskin leggings. Overlay fully beaded moccasins. Beaded band on head, bead facial features. Very long wrapped quillwork earrings with red horse hair and tin cone danglers. Black horse hair braids. | NA.507.7B.JPG | NA.507.7 a-b.jpg | na.507.7b.jpg | na.507.7b.jpg | strips | doll | Red | porcupine | hide | fringe | tin | cones | seed | hair | overlay | wrapped | deer | Beads | quills | horse | black | South Dakota | Sioux | Lakota | Northern Plains

NA.504.141
Sioux | Northern Plains | pi...
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Exhibit notes: Pipe bag with both beadwork and quillwork.

Museum record: NA.504.141 | ca. 1895 | overall length: 27 in, width: 8 in | Gift of Mrs. Henry H.R. Coe | Ritual and Recreation: Smoking and Narcotics. Buckskin with lazy stitch bead panel and bead strip up on side in multi-colored triangle and geometric design on white background. Top edge bound with bead border. Section of buckskin fringe with wrapped quillwork below bead panel (orange and purple). Buckskin fringe at bottom. | na.504.141.jpg | triangle | strip | geometric | pipe bag | Beads | hide | seed | quills | porcupine | lazy stitch | orange | Buckskin | deer | purple | fringe | multi-colored | wrapped | White | Sioux | Northern Plains

NA.202.946
Blackfeet | gauntlets | cott...
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Exhibit notes: Beaded Gauntlets.

Museum record: NA.202.946 | 1928-29 | L: 12.75 in, width: 11.5 in | Gift of the LeGrand Wright Family, Odgen, Utah | Dress and Adornment, Daily and/or Festive Adornment. Beaded Gauntlets (pair) Made of: leather, beads, cotton fabric (lining); cotton thread. Pair of leather gauntlets with floral beadwork design covering the tops of both cuffs with one additional design on the top of each back of hand. Gauntlets are lined with printed cotton fabric on insides down to end of cuff. Leather strings/bands fringe both outside edges of cuffs. Background of white with green, blue, orange, pinks in rose design. | na.202.946.jpg | gauntlets | cotton | leather | Beads | Blackfeet

NA.111.59
Jennings, Vanessa | Kiowa | ...
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Exhibit notes: Cradleboard

Museum record: NA.111.59 | 1996 | L: 49 in, width: 9 in, depth: 8 in | Museum purchase with funds provided by the Pilot Foundation and Arthur Amiotte | Utensils and Implements, Child Care, Training and Education. Seed bead cradle laced to a wooden frame, sideboards extend beyong the length of the cradle. Silver studs in a star patteron embellish theh top of each board. Beadwork pattern is a ground of dusty pink, green leaves with blue centers on either side and multi-colored, geometric designs over the hood. All designs are outlined in white. The center lacing area and footrest are of hide, stained yellow. Hide fringe around bottom. Twenty strands of red Crow beads on white hide laces on the outside of the hood. The lining is black. The interior filling is covered with a yellow floral pattern on navy fabric. | NA.111.59Dk.JPG | NA.111.59dtl.JPG | na.111.59.jpg | NA.111.59.JPG | NA.111.59.jpg | floral | geometric | star | cradle | wood | metal | Cotton cloth | deer hide | glass beads | Jennings, Vanessa | Kiowa | Fort Cobb, Oklahoma

NA.202.375
Northern Plains | Sioux | ve...
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NA.202.375 | ca. 1890 | L: 13.5 in, width: 14.25 in | Dress and Adornment: Daily And/or Festive Adornment. Boy's -- Indian tanned buffalo hide, fully beaded with seed beads. Seamed at sides and shoulders. Leather thongs at center front. Geometric beadwork design with American flags front and back as well as misc. geometric designs. White bead ground with transluscent green, mustard yellow, rose whiteheart, cobalt blue and bronze metallic beads. Bead edging at armholes worked in cobalt blue and greasy yellow. Edging at neck center front and entire bottom edge worked in rose whiteheart and greasy yellow. Red staining on inside. | na.202.375.jpg | geometric | American flags | vest | greasy yellow | hide | thongs | Red | Beads | mustard yellow | buffalo | tanned | rose whiteheart | White | bronze metallic | cobalt blue | transluscent green | stain | leather | seed | Northern Plains | Sioux

NA.403.149
Crow | stirrup | Red | cloth...
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Exhibit notes: Wood stirrup with red cloth triangles and white beads.

Museum record: NA.403.149 | ca. 1880 | L: 5.5 in, width: 4 in, H: 5 in | Transportation: Land Transporation. Wood stirrup with rawhide and painted black; red cloth triangles and white beadwork on one side. | NA.403.149.JPG | na.403.149.jpg | stirrup | Red | cloth | White | black | wood | rawhide | painted | seed | Beads | Crow

NA.202.1183
Lakota | Sioux | Moccasins |...
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Exhibit notes: Moccasins with quillwork on the top and beadwork on the bottom.

Museum record: NA.202.1183 | ca.1880 | L: 11 in, width: 4.5 in | The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe | 1046, quilled, beaded soles, very nice | l.312.2006.1293.jpg | MoccasinWheel1.jpg | MoccasinWheel3.jpg | MoccasinWheel2.jpg | Moccasins | Moccasins | dyed porcupine quills | feathers | glass beads | tanned hide | pigment | silk ribbon | tin cones | Lakota | Sioux