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Native American Quill and Bead Necklace in White & Lavender

  • 10300

Maria Godines, from the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, created this stunning necklace that features porcupine quills and several types of beads. Maria explains that her beaded necklaces represent Columbia River Native beadwork particularly well because they include many of the region’s important types of beads and techniques of beading. Maria beaded the floral pendant on a brain-tanned buckskin backing. She created the petals with natural colored porcupine quills outlined by lavender seed beads.

For the part of the necklace that will lie closer to the neck, Maria used long tubular dentalia beads made from tusk-shaped ocean mollusks; strands of lavender, black, orange, and yellow seed beads; and metallic beads of several sizes and colors. For the portions of the necklace above each side of the pendant Maria has used traditional wampum beads (made from channeled whelk shells) and tubular peyote stitched beadwork. Hanging below the flower medallion are four strands of dentalia and lavender seed beads finished with cowry shells (a type of sea snail). Maria uses an artificial sinew to string all of her necklaces.

This necklace is 26 inches from end to end (excluding the floral pendant). Because of its length, no clasp is needed. The medallion is about 2 inches in diameter, and the lower beaded strands dangle 2 1/4 inches below it. The porcupine quills and dentalia beads make this necklace somewhat delicate. Maria explains that the beauty of dentalia beads is that even if they break, they still look good on the necklace.

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