Brightly Beaded: North American Indian Glass Beadwork

January 18, 2014–June 1, 2014

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Moccasins

Pair of Moccasins

Of the many things American Indians acquired through trade with whites, few items held greater value than glass beads, and female artists throughout much of native North America quickly mastered the craft of bead working. This exhibition presents exemplary selections of beadwork, primarily from four culture areas—Plains, Great Lakes, Subarctic, and Northeast—and explores the techniques, as well as the functional and cultural significance of these pieces. This brightly beaded art served as a highly visible expression of ethnic identity and pride that continues to this day.

The back of this knife sheath is made from a parfleche, a painted container.

The back of this knife sheath is made from a parfleche, a painted container.