I'll try not to bore you with too much text, but I think it is important to tell you a bit about the Tuscarora Nation. They are one of the 'Six Nations' of the Iroquois Confederacy and are located in Niagara County, New York.
During the War of 1812, the Tuscarora men assisted US General Peter B. Porter. They even went so far as to rescue him after his capture by the British. As it turned out, General Porter's family owned all the land adjacent to Niagara Falls, and as a gesture of gratitude, granted the Tuscarora women the exclusive right to sell their beadwork along the rapids of the Falls - forever.
Of course, all good things never last, and the US Government changed their minds and currently the only way a Tuscarora beader (be it man or woman) can sell their art along the Falls is by being lucky enough to obtain one of five permits, issued under a lottery system. Ah yes, bullies are everywhere, aren't they?
Anywho, let's get to the beads! There is so much to talk about, but I will just mention a few tid-bits each week.
The Tuscarora adorned their pieces with nature inspired motifs. I love this one because it has that sweet little owl. He looks a bit concerned to me-a little sad, almost.
The center of the flower features a very popular technique. They call this a 'birds nest.' Perfect description, don't you think?
Clear glass beads are the most prominent in their work. I understand this may be because of the popularity of lace during the same time period, and these pieces were made to be a sort of 'beader's lace.'
The beads appear to be size 11, with the only other shape being those tube beads, which in upcoming Tuesdays, you will see how often they show up in their art.
If you have any questions, please ask and I'll do my best to find the answer for you.
Bead Happy and Often!