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Glass beads on wool
Overall: 38.9 x 11.4 cm (15 5/16 x 4 1/2 in.)
Gift of Mrs. F. J. Fertig 1939.210.2
In the 1800s, native peoples began to use European fabrics to fashion fine formal garments; they favored sturdy cloth, such as velvet and wool broadcloth, which provided support for heavy decorative beadwork that was added by hand. Often the fabric was a dark color, providing dramatic contrast for the multicolored beads. Rather than encrusting the entire garment, beadwork was confined to cuffs, “epaulettes,” bib-like plackets and yokes, rectangular panels sewn to leggings, shirts, and dresses, and the like.
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