Buckskin Pillow with Quilled Rows
Artifacts Group 1 / Group 2 / Group 3

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Plains Indian Buckskin Pillow with Quilled Rows
 

Plains Indian Buckskin Pillow with Quilled Rows

Mandan or Lakota

Most adults had a pillow for sleeping. It was fashioned from buckskin stuffed with buffalo wool. The decoration was porcupine-quilled rows. Dyed bird fluffs end the rows.

The dye for these red fluffs and quills come from a mite that lives in a white, cotton-like web on prickly pear cactus. It takes l0,000 of these bugs to make an ounce of dye. The yellow comes from the root of the curly dock and the blue from wild grapes or pokeweed. Much early quillwork is not in a red background due to the tremendous effort to obtain insects of this color dye.

At night, the Lakota placed pillows at the base of the backrests in their tipis. The Mandans had pillows in each berth around the wall of the earth lodge. On occasion, the pillows were stuffed with sweet-smelling plants such as bee balm to create a pleasant scent.

Plains Indian Buckskin Pillow with Quilled Rows with baby carrier

 

Artifacts by Sioux Replications / All images Franz Brown


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