Sewing the Seeds: 200 Years of Iroquois Glass Beadwork

A gallery of pictures of the 2009 exhibit at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art,
Corning, New York


 
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Four views of the exhibit

Exhibit View Exhibit View Exhibit View Exhibit View

Boot-shaped Pincushions

Boot-shaped pincushions are among the most elaborately beaded forms of Iroquois beadwork. These boots were probably made between 1895 and 1905 by Mohawk beadworkers on the Kahnawake Reserve.

Victorian Boots

Twentieth Century Boots

20th Century boot-shaped pincushions are simpler than those made about 1900. These were probably made between 1930 and 1960. Those with NIAGARA FALLS or STATE FAIR captions were made on the Tuscarora Reservation in the Niagara area of western New York State. The five boots in the center were probably made at Kahnawake.

20th Century Boots

Clear Beads

These elegant pincushions, needlecases, and wall pockets were made in western New York. All, but perhaps the red pincushion in the center, are from the Tuscarora Reservation near Niagara Falls.

Clear Beads

Whiskbroom Holders

Whiskbroom holders were made by Mohawk beadworkers beginning in the 1890's.

Whiskbroom Holders

Match Holders

Match holders, like whiskbroom holders, were created by Mohawk beadworkers in the 1890's. Like whiskbroom holders they were frequented dated.

 Match Holders

Gold and Amber Pieces

Gold and amber beads were used extensively by the Mohawk beadworkers around 1900.

Gold and Amber

Strawberries

Strawberries, the Head of the Medicine Plants, are often featured on Iroquois beadwork.

Strawberries

Animals

Pigs, elephants, cats, and dogs were animal images that were sometimes beaded on beadwork pieces.

Animals

Words

Words are often beaded on beadwork in uppercase letters. They often label the function of the piece or where it was meant to be sold.

Words

Tuscarora Dolls

These Tuscarora dolls were made by Mary Annette Clause who was reunited with them when she visited the 2009 exhibition.

Tuscarora Dolls

Oneida Dolls

Mary Prescott, Oneida, made these dolls representing medicine plant gathering.

Oneida Dolls

Purple Pincusions

Purple velvet was a favorite fabric on the face of pincushions on both Tuscarora and Mohawk work.

Purple Pincusions

Purple Pincusions

The most common form of Iroquois pincushions is the rectangular pincushion that features beaded birds on a magenta purple fabric background. These Mohawk cushions are framed by leaves made of red, green, blue, yellow, and clear beads. They date from the 1870's until the early 20th century.

Purple Pincusions

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