Posts tagged native.
Indian cultures of the Great Plains had to be able to move an entire village at a moments notice to avoid marauders and government troops and to follow the buffalo and other wild game upon which their subsistence depended.
The artistry of the Plains Indians then was manifested solely upon their personal effects that had to fit quickly and economically into packs for the horses or dogs to pull and carry. Breakables and frivolous items were out of the question.
It was necessity then that created the careful and sacred artistry of Native American Plains. Clothing, parcels, the tipi, and even utensils were decorated. In the years before serious foreign encroachment, decoration and art were primarily of Native paint, shell, and porcupine quill. Quillwork was considered a sacred tribal art and Plains Indian women formed elite societies around the practice. Designs and colours were prescribed.
It was not until the mid eighteen hundreds, when glass beads were becoming more prevalent, that designs began to change in any significant respect. Early beading followed the same basic patterns as early quillwork, but women would sometimes be given a new technique or pattern by spirits in dreams and these would become her personal property, to be given or sold as the recipient of the dream saw fit.