Native American Quill & Bead Necklace in White
Maria Godines, from the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, created this 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 white seed beads. For the back and side portions of the necklace, Maria used long tubular dentalia beads made from tusk-shaped ocean mollusks; strands of white, yellow, orange, and black seed beads; and white and silver colored glass and metal beads. For the parts of the necklace above each side of the floral pendant, Maria has used traditional wampum beads (made from channeled whelk shells) and tubular peyote stitched beadwork. Hanging below the flower medallion are two dentalia beads with glass and metal beads finished with cowry shells (made from a type of sea snail). Maria uses an artificial sinew to string all of her necklaces. This necklace is 30 1/2 inches from end to end (excluding the floral medallion). Because of the length of the necklace, no clasp is needed. The medallion is about 2 inches in diameter, and the lower beaded strands dangle 2 3/4 inches below it. The porcupine quills and dentalia make this necklace somewhat delicate. The beauty of dentalia beads is that even if they snap, they still look good on the necklace.
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