Native American Collectibles And Antique Indian Beadwork
From museums to private collectors, Native American collectibles are some of the most desired. Antique Indian beadwork is among the most collectible of all. Before beads were introduced to them, Native Americans decorated their clothing with painted designed. Then, as time went on, they began to make beads out of bone, dried berries and eventually beads, which were introduced by European traders ultimately.
How Antique Indian Beadwork Came To Be
In the late 17th century, traders from Europe came to the Americas with brightly colored beads made from glass and ultimately traded them with Native Americans. Called “pony beads”, these early beads found in antique Indian beadwork were carried on horseback to Native American villages for trade. The majority of these beads were blue and some were white and red as well. That is why much of the antique Indian beadwork from this period is so predominantly blue. This type of beadwork prevailed until around 1840 or so, when smaller beads began to become more available. Indeed, over time, Native American collectibles, from moccasins to shirts, leggings to headbands, all seem to have some sort of beadwork worked into them. The needle and thread wasn’t introduced to Native American cultures for many years and actually, what they used to apply beads to Native American collectibles was called a sinew. Sinew is a large tendon taken from an elk or a deer and then dried.
Antique Indian Beadwork Varieties
To be deemed authentic, there are three types of Indian beadwork to look for. These are:
Overlaying Or Spot Stitching
This type of antique Indian beadwork is characterized by its curvaceous and flowery patterns.
Western Native Americans used this geometric style more commonly than other tribes.
Beads Woven With Looms
The Ojibway Native American tribe is credited with originating this style of beading. As time and trade wore on, the practice became more commonplace among many other tribes. The loom used was very portable and easy to carry as tribes migrated as well. This loom, which was made to look like a bow, actually was made of a few pieced of flat wood and a sinew.
Its Popularity Holds Firm
Up to modern day, the antique Indian beadwork is being copied by entrepreneurs looking to cash in on the Native American collectibles crazy. If you are a collector of Native American collectibles, you know full well that it’s imperative to have many pieces of antique Indian beadwork as part of your archive.
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