Origins of American Indian Beadwork
Before Europeans invaded the New World, Native Americans were making beautiful objects decorated with local natural materials. Beads were painstakingly made from bone and shell and had many uses including wampum, a form of money.
Trade routes across the Americas and the Caribbean Islands also provided access to shells, metals, semi-precious stones, bone, ivory, porcupine quills and feathers.
explorers and traders arrived, they brought items that changed
Native art. The Spanish, English, Dutch and French offered glass beads
as gifts and as currency in trade. Soon, Native Americans were
asking for beads in specific materials, colors and shapes.
Today, artists borrow beading techniques and patterns from each other. Many create new patterns based on tribal culture and traditions. Contemporary designs are now party of ceremonial regalia
Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
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