Flights of Fancy

A gallery of pictures of the installation of the exhibit Flights of Fancy: 200 Years of Iroquois Beadwork on display from January to June, 2002, at the Chemung Valley History Museum, Elmira, New York.


 

Exhibit Panel

Flights of Fancy: 200 Years of Iroquois Beadwork was the title of the exhibit in the Chemung Valley History Museum in Elmira, NY. The exhibit logo, as pictured on this Introduction Panel, is a picture of a red bird created by master Tuscarora beadworker, Dolly Printup-Winden.

Exhibit Title Scene

Three generations of Tuscarora birds

The red bird on the bottom was made by Dolly Printup-Winden. The second one was made by her mother, Dorothy Printup. The third bird,at the top, was made by her mother, Matilda Hill whose 1931 picture is shown in the heart picture frame made by Dolly. She also made the green picture frame which displays her picture on the left and her mother's picture on the right.

Three Generations of Tuscarora Birds

Wall Hangings

Wall hangings are made in many forms. The upper case features Mohawk match holders and whisk broom holders. The case below displays horseshoe good luck hangers. Picture frames hang in the third case. All date to the last half of the 19th century and first twenty years of the 20th century.

Wall Hangings

Crossed Flags

These pieces feature designs with crossed flags. All display U S flags except for the diamond-shaped one which has crossed French and British flags. Flag motifs were integrated into Mohawk beadwork pieces from the 1870s until about 1930. Since 9/11 flags have reappeared on Iroquois beadwork.

Crossed Flags

Place Names

Place names were often beaded onto beadwork souvenirs. Niagara Falls is the most popular name reflecting the high number of visitors to the Falls. Tourists like to take home a souvenir that reminds them of their visit to the natural wonder and what better than to take home something made by a person who is known as living close to nature.

Place Names

Flat Black Purses

Flat black purses are very common. They feature beaded floral motifs in two shades of pink, blue, white, gold, and green. They were made in many different shapes from the 1850s until the 20th century. A chronology of styles has not yet been worked out.

Flat Black Purses

Purple Velvet Cloth

Purple velvet is a popular cloth on Iroquois beadwork, especially that made at Kahnawake, the Mohawk reserve near Montreal. Many purple pincushions are very elegant.

Purple Velvet Cloth

Hot Pink Cloth

Hot pink cloth is common on Mohawk pieces made in the early 20th century. Picture frames, boots, hearts, purses, needlecases, and whisk broom holders were made with hot pick cloth.

Hot Pink Cloth

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