beadwork

11 posts

4 December 2017; Huichol Beaded Mask

This glorious mask was made by the Huichol people, …a southern tribe descendant from the Aztecs. Still residing in the coastal Jalisco and Nayarit of Mexico, the Huichol people continue many of their cultural practices. For the Huichol, the art world and the spirit world were one. Each of the […]

14 September 2015; New Beading Kits at the Museum!

Have you ever wanted to be able to learn how to do some of the delicate beadwork that you see in our exhibits? Now you can! The museum staff has created a kit that contains everything to make your very own beaded bracelet! Peyote stitch, sometimes called gourd stitch, is […]

6 April 2015; Iroquois Needle Carrier

As the piece is displayed in the exhibit (see first photo in set) it appears to be a simple panel that is covered in beautiful beadwork. What remains unseen is that the piece is actually an imaginative tri-fold carrier for needles. This style of beadwork is common to that of […]

9 February 2015; Primitive Beads

When picturing native crafts, most people imagine tiny colorful seed beads. However, many of the earliest beads looked like the ones pictured above. Alhough some of the beads were thin, many primitive beads were large. The unrefined nature of the tools available to early beaders made it more difficult to […]

27 October 2014; Huichol Beaded Mask

This glorious mask was made by the Huichol people, a southern tribe descendant from the Aztecs. Still residing in the coastal Jalisco and Nayarit of Mexico, the Huichol people continue many of their cultural practices. For the Huichol, the art world and the spirit world were one. Each of the […]

13 October 2014; Jingle Cones

If you have ever been to a Powwow, you have probably seen regalia that has been adorned with the metal cones featured above. Referred to as Jingle Cones, they were originally made by rolling the lids of tobacco cans. When strung together as fringe, they produce a gentle jingling sound. […]

6 October 2014; Great Lakes Beadwork

The Natives of the Eastern Woodlands produced a number of gorgeous items. In the 19th century, around the Great Lakes – especially Niagara Falls, the tourist trade was filled with bags similar to the one featured above. There are some historians who even refer to this particular design pattern as […]

11 August 2014; Coconut Shell Heishi

Beads come in many different shapes and colors. The beads, called heishi, featured on this necklace are made out of coconut shell. To make the coconut shell into beads, a hole was drilled using a pump drill like the one below: The individual pieces were then strung together and shaped […]

26 May 2014; Sequins as Beads

When you look at native craft work over time, it is amazing to see how artisans incorporate newly available materials into their work. There are many items in modern fashion that use sequins, from purses to evening gowns and from hats to neck ties. But have you ever thought to […]

3 June 2013; Hairpipe Beads

One of the most easily recognized beads used in native crafts is the hairpipe shown here. The oldest known beads of this style were made from shell and can date as far back as 4,000 yeas ago! Hairpipes have been made from a variety of materials including bone, horn, silver, […]

24 September 2012; Native Beadwork

Natives used these tiny little glass beads (often called “seed” beads) to bring color to so many different aspects of their life. Because of their size, it is easy to form them into delicate patterns as well as large spaces of color. But where did they get the beads? While […]