Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians

Published on February 5, 2013 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians
Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians

Ribbonwork is a type of applied decoration used by dozens of Indian tribes in North America. The art form is highly developed among Woodland Indian nations in particular. Similar to beadwork, ribbonwork functions as a decoration appliqué to clothing and other items.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

The appliqué is created by cutting silk ribbons into layered strips and then cutting or folding the individual ribbons at different levels to reveal patterns of various colors. The ribbonwork strip is then attached to a separate item, usually as trim, for decoration. Commonly, brightly colored ribbons are used and paired with a simple background to create a bold visual effect.

Traditionally, ribbonwork was created by women and the knowledge of the craft and specific designs was passed on to successive generations. Ribbonwork designs may vary among tribes, families, or even individuals. Garments with ribbonwork appliqué are often worn for special occasions, particularly powwows and other dance or ceremonial events. The most common items for ribbonwork appliqué include blankets, leggings, moccasins, wrapping bands, dance costumes, women’s skirts and shawls, and men’s shirts and breechcloths. Ribbonwork can also be seen less frequently applied to cradle boards, knee bands, medicine bundles, stoles and turbans.

The craft is a result of European colonialism, combining European trade goods with native ingenuity and designs. Ribbonwork appliqué began in the early part of the 19th century, made possible by the introduction of European silk ribbons as trade items in the 18th century. After ribbonwork developed in the Great Lakes it quickly spread to dozens of other neighboring Woodland and Prairie tribes. The craft was most highly developed among the Winnebago, Potawatomi, Menominee, Fox, Miami, Sauk, Shawnee, Delaware, Osage, and Kickapoo.

The Milwaukee Public Museum ribbonwork collection consists of over 140 pieces and represents ribbonwork from over 20 tribes. Several examples can currently be seen on exhibit on the second floor of the Museum. Many of the Museum’s ribbonwork pieces are from the James Howard Collection, which comprises an assortment of powwow outfits donated by anthropologist and collector James Howard.

Source: mpm

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
Based on the collective work of NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com website: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/ribbonwork-the-woodland-indians/

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com. NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/ribbonwork-the-woodland-indians/ (accessed: May 28, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians" NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 28 May. 2015. <NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/ribbonwork-the-woodland-indians/>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, "Ribbonwork of the Woodland Indians" in NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/ribbonwork-the-woodland-indians/. Available: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com. Accessed: May 28, 2015.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
    month = May,
    day = 28,
    year = 2015,
    url = {http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/ribbonwork-the-woodland-indians/},
You might also like:

Tags:  , , , , ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.