Embroidery

Embroidery

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin holds a bison hide with some simple embroidery. The hide measures 271 x 218 cm. It was acquired c. 1832-1834 by the German explorer, Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (1782-1867), from the Gros Ventre region (North Central Montana) in the (modern) USA.

The National Museums Scotland holds a buckskin shirt with painted decoration and quill embroidery. It dates to the early nineteenth century and was owned by Chief Wanatak, who died in 1837. the Museums also hold Chief Wanatak's leggings acc. nos. A.1942.1 A and B.

Canadian leather tunics are knee-length garments that were traditionally worn by native Americans in what is now the northern USA and Canada. The tunics are sometimes referred to as shirts, but technically they are tunics, as they are not open down the front.

Horse hair coiled work is a decorative applied technique used by Athapaskan-speaking people and other Indian tribes who lived to the west of the Great Lakes of North America.

A jingle dress is a North American Indian woman’s garment decorated with multiple rows of hollow metal cones. The dress originated among Ojibwe communities in the Great Lakes region (USA). While Ojibwe women wore sashes in the late 1800's decorated with metal cones, the jingle dress first appeared in the 1920's.

Moose hair couched embroidery is a technique that originated among the indigenous populations of the northern parts of North America. It was practised across the entire territory where moose hair was used for decorative work, although it was most commonly used by the Woodlands Indians in the northeastern part of the North American continent.

Moose hair false embroidery is a weaving technique often used by the Northeast Indians of North America to decorate objects such as pouches or straps. The technique is called ‘false embroidery’, because the moose hair is not applied to the finished woven item. Instead it is used as part of the weaving process. This technique was especially popular among the Huron and Iroquois peoples.

Moose hair tassels were used by some Eastern Woodlands and Plains Indians of North America in order to decorate their garments and footwear.

A wide variety of materials was used to decorate indigenous clothing in North America before contact with the Europeans. These decorative materials included bone, feathers, fur, leather fringes, quills (North American quillwork) and shells.

North American quillwork is a form of decorative needlework that makes use of porcupine or bird quills. Quillwork from North America has been a focus of much study, although it is incorrect to believe that quillwork is exclusive to this region, as it is also carried out in Africa.

The Ojibwe are a North American Indian people now concentrated around the Great Lakes. Before European colonisation, traditional Ojibwe garments were made of tanned deerskin and decorated with applied items, including animal teeth, bone, pieces of copper and shells. Clothing and other objects were sometimes decorated with dyed porcupine quills or moose hair. Designs were mostly abstract and geometrical.

Many of the Eastern Woodlands and Plains Indians of North America, such as the Cree and Huran, used beading and quillwork, as well as moose hair embroidery and tassels, to decorate their garments and footwear. The example illustrated here is a sleeve cuff made from animal hide (probably buckskin), which has been decorated with porcupine quill work, tassels and imported glass beads.