Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The art and beauty of porcupine quills


January 9, 2019

Plains tribes used dyed porcupine quills to adorn clothing, dolls and other items (called quillwork) before the introduction of beads. Many Native artists still choose to express themselves with the art form that begins with many hours of meticulous quill harvesting from porcupines—which may or may not still be alive. It also requires involved processing that includes flattening and dyeing the quills. The resulting work is vivid and unique. Join our conversation with some contemporary Native quillworkers about this traditional art form.


LaVerne Whitebear (enrolled member of the Ft. Peck Assiniboine Sioux from Poplar, Montana) – aspiring traditional Dakota quillwork artist


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