Indian Beaded Vest (Book Three, Card 5)

Native American men and women’s clothing was frequently brightly coloured, as this beaded vest manufactured between 1880 and 1900 demonstrates. The manufacturer had more leeway in constructing curved motifs because the beads were strung together first before being attached to the surface. The floral motifs are most likely French colonial influences.  The decorative use of various types of beads was one of the most common arts and crafts practised by several Native American tribes. Porcupine feathers were embroidered skillfully onto Native American moccasins and coats one of the first forms. These natural things were simple to collect from hunted animals, could be chopped to any length that fit the design, and already had a natural hole in the middle. Then, when humans use stone tools or scratchy sand to mould other materials and drill holes through them, Native American beadwork flourished. Turquoise and jasper were popular semi-precious stones, especially in the southwestern part of the country.