What is the difference between types of thread? How do you choose the right thread for your craft project? The color of thread you use can change the look of your beadwork. If you are using a lot of translucent beads you may want a white thread. If you want a dark background on your loom work, use black. In this article we will go over the threads we offer and their uses.
The White Cedar tree provides the flat cedar used for smudging, or burning. The leaves are evergreen in color and considered to be a needle-like. Due to its appearance, it is classified as a Conifer within the larger classification of Cypress.
Abalone are large sea mollusks (snails) that inhabit colder waters all over the world. Abalone eat seaweed such as kelp. The different varieties it eats creates the different colors in the shells as they grow. Each layer contains calcium carbonate making the shell extremely strong. The outside of these ear-shaped shells is often a host for barnacles algae and other invertebrates. The shells have holes in them which are respiratory openings for venting water from the gills. As the animal gets older the shell grows with them in a spiral pattern and the holes close up. Abalones can repair minor damage to their shells done by otters or humans trying to remove them from rocks, because of this they are a symbol of strength and healing.
Turkey Feathers Painted to Look like Eagle Feathers
Traditionally Native Americans have used feathers from a variety of birds. They use them to decorate their clothing, jewelry, accessories and as tools, like Smudge Feathers. When people think about Natives using feathers, they often imagine the Feather Headdresses that men from Plains tribes wear. These Headdresses consist of rows of Eagle Feathers.
Braintanned Deerhide vs Commerically Tanned Deerhide
What is the difference between a Braintanned Deerhide and a commercially tanned Deerhide? It is all about process and the quality of the finished product. Commercial tanners use chemicals to soften and preserve the hide. When they are finished, the deerhide has a smooth (top grain) and a suede side. Sometimes these are ‘split’ to make a hide that has two suede sides.
Native Americans who live in the northern regions of North America use the bark of the ‘paper’ Birch tree to make many useful and decorative items. They use large pieces of Birchbark to cover their dwellings. Entire canoes with wood frames are made with strips of this bark. Birchbark rolled into a triangular tube serves as a Moose call for hunters.
Crafters create a variety of containers to hold and carry food. Rogans are a type of basket that often has a trapezoidal shape with a narrower top. Berry Baskets come with handles to carry them. Shallow trays or round containers with the inside treated with pitch can be used to cook food or carry liquids. Fish Creels with small openings in the lid hold the fisherman’s catch of the day.
In more recent times, crafters started using Birchbark to make picture frames, decorative mats, decorated boxes with lids, ornaments and jewelry.
The gourd dance is a Kiowa dance ceremony which honors all warriors and veterans. The modern Gourd Dance regalia consists of a red and blue blanket draped over the shoulders. There are several available methods of folding the blanket.
For more than a millennia, Osha Root has been used by Native Americans. This perennial herb is found in deep rich soil in the mountains of the US and Mexico and is known by many different names: osha root, Porter’s lovage, Porter’s licorice-root, Porter’s wild lovage, Porter’s ligusticum, bear medicine, bear root, lovage, wild lovage, Indian root, Indian parsley, wild parsley, mountain ginseng, mountain carrot, nipo, empress of the dark forest, overoot, Colorado cough root, chuchupate, chuchupati, chuchupaste, chuchupatle, guariaca, hierba del cochino or yerba de cochino, raíz del cochino, and washí (tarahumara).
Sweetgrass, Hierochloe Odorata, is a beautiful sacred plant growing in the northern half of the U.S., up to the arctic circle. Sometimes called Buffalo Grass or Vanilla Grass, it spreads by underground rhizomes and prefers damp lowland areas. Because of its connection to water and its sweet smell it is considered feminine. People use it for ceremonies and healing along with sage and cedar. Continue reading Sweetgrass
If there is a universal child’s toy, it may well be a doll. Whether hastily made from scrap material at hand, or painstakingly made to exacting detail, dolls “speak” to our humanity. At first glance, dolls are simple play-things… suffering the ravages of many other mere “toys”. However, there are many other reasons dolls are created and decorated for children. Dolls may also be used to teach children important cultural and educational lessons in dress, hair style, adornment and dexterity.
Some dolls are created for specific purposes or occasions. Others are made with whimsy and artistic license. There are no limits to the variety of dolls. This author is particularly interested in beadwork as a decorative medium. By making a basic cloth doll body, there are unlimited ways to construct and decorate these miniature personalities. Continue reading Hand Made Dolls
Native Americans and Buffalo have a long history together. Buffalo, or the American Bison, has played an essential role in the survival and culture of the Native Americans who lived in the Plains region of what is now the United States, and parts of southern Canada. Buffalo once roamed the Plains in innumerable herds until the middle of the 19th century. Incursions by white settlers and the arrival of the railroad severely depleted the number of Buffalo living on the Plains. Native Americans use of every part of a Buffalo for food, clothing, tools, fuel and utensils. Continue reading Native Americans and Buffalo
Crafting is an activity that brings different ideas to mind, depending on who is considering it. Some remember rainy day activities that involved empty containers and construction paper, others think of projects that involve buying supplies to create a particular item, and some consider it an everyday activity that is part of their lifestyle.
Crafting has had different purposes throughout human history. Creating functional objects from raw materials is certainly an important aspect of crafting. Expressing emotions, beliefs and esthetic ideals is another. Satisfying an inner desire to create by fashioning something beautiful or unexpected is a basic human trait.
Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal skins. Tanning animal skins into leather is a process which alters the protein structure of the animal’s skin. Tanning can be performed by several different methods. At The Wandering Bull Native American Trading Post you will find several different leather types to choose from. Continue reading Leather Types
Sinew is a fibrous band of tissue also known as a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bones in animals. These fibers have been used by many pre-industrial societies because they are strong and durable. Real animal sinew has unique properties which make it an excellent material for sewing and binding. It contains natural proteins that act like glue and it shrinks as it dries, so it doesn’t need to be knotted. Continue reading Real Animal Sinew and Imitation Sinew