I’m featuring pictures of Plateau Indian beaded moccasins for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. The challenge this week is “A labor of love.”
After so much was taken away from Native Americans, creating beadwork became a labor of love. They preserved parts of their culture by decorating everyday items.
Prior to the European invasion of North America, Native Americans decorated their clothing with shells, porcupine quills, and bones.
In the early years of European settlement, pony beads were often offered in trade. Seed beads became available in the late 1800s. Seed beads are smaller and come in a wider variety of colors compared to pony beads.
Many of the designs used in the early years of beading were geometric. They generally included symbols important to specific tribes and regions.
Techniques for applying the beads varied. One technique involved threading several beads onto a thread. Thread on a second needle tacked these lines of beads onto the material.
By the late 1800s, realistic designs became more common. For example, patterns often included local flowers and wildlife.
In the early 1900s, more types of beads were available and designs became more elaborate. Interest in buying beadwork increased. As a result, designs changed to include marketable patterns, including American flags.
These Plateau Indian beaded moccasins, displayed at the High Desert Museum like works of art, showcase the skills of their makers.
13 thoughts on “Plateau Indian Beaded Moccasins: LAPC”
Wow. Quite the collection and tour. Very informative.
Thanks, glad you liked my tour. 😀
Your post is one of my favorites this week! I have long admired Native American beadwork — the patterns are similar to some in fabric design but also reflective of the land around them. I wish I had started collecting shoes like the ones you’ve shown because I love these so much. Thanks, too, for adding so much history and detail — this is one fine post that enhances the theme of labor of love.
Thank you! Glad you liked that post. I also greatly admire beadwork and wish I had the patience to do it myself.
Thanks for hosting this week!
I appreciate the comments so very much!
Interesting and informative – the story of these. Yes, so much was taken away…but they kept and changed their skills and their labor of love. Well done.
Thanks! Yes, they lost so much but tried to make the best of the situation.
An excellent example of labors of love Siobhan – love these. I enjoyed the way the complexity of the beadwork increased from image to image. It is so sad to me that we were raised with the concept of cowboy (good guys) and indians (bad guys) when in fact it was quite the opposite.
Thanks, Tina. Glad I could share their work. Yes, I totally agree with your last statement.
I love these beautiful moccasins, Siobhan. A great choice. The detailing of the patterns is wonderful. I’m glad you told us more about them and the types of beads. Wonderful!
Thank you! The beadwork is one of my favorite things at the High Desert Museum. 🙂
Love the details of the bead works. Labor of love, indeed!
So do I! 🙂 Thanks.