MU­SEUM OPENS NEW EX­HIBIT

The News-Times (Sunday) - - News - kko­ert­ing@new­stimes.com

The In­sti­tute for Amer­i­can In­dian Stud­ies opened a new ex­hibit on the art­form of por­cu­pine quill­work, which re­sem­bles del­i­cate em­broi­dery.

Por­cu­pine quill­work is a dis­tinc­tive Na­tive Amer­i­can art form.

Once the quills were care­fully re­moved from the por­cu­pine they were sorted by size then made pli­able by soak­ing. Dyed and flat­tened, wo­ven, wrapped, tufted or stitched the hum­ble por­cu­pine quill be­came part of a work of art as well as a means of self-ex­pres­sion.

The quills are folded, twisted, wrapped, plaited and sewn us­ing a wide range of tech­niques to em­bel­lish cloth­ing, ac­ces­sories and other items, such as bags, knife sheaths, bas­kets, wooden han­dles and pipe stems. Tribes fre­quently used this tech­nique from New Eng­land to the Great Plains un­til Euro­pean set­tlers ar­rived and glass beads were in­cor­po­rated, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

This ex­hibit fea­tures ar­ti­facts on loan to the mu­seum from the Meg Buda Col­lec­tion and has many Na­tive Amer­i­can dec­o­ra­tive and use­ful items that have been em­bel­lished with por­cu­pine quill em­broi­dery.

“This type of quill­work was most likely the first purely dec­o­ra­tive art prac­ticed by Na­tive Amer­i­cans,” ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease. “It is highly sought af­ter by col­lec­tors, each piece rep­re­sent­ing hun­dreds of hours of work by the artist.”

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