Star Quilts

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					  Star Quilts
A History of the Plains Indians Quilting Traditions
           Plains Indians
• Reside in the Northwestern United
  States
• Montana tribes
   –   Assiniboine
   –   Sioux
   –   Gros Ventre
   –   Chippewa-
       Cree
   –   Blackfeet
   –   Kootenai
   –   Salish
   –   Pend d’Oreille
   –   Crow
   –   Northern
       Cheyenne
        Early 1800’s
• Plains Indians relied on the
  buffalo for survival
  – Food, clothing, and shelter
• Led a nomadic lifestyle
  – Had to follow the buffalo herds
• Painted geometrical designs
  and symbols on buffalo hides
  – Hides were used for bedding,
    teepees, and clothing
        Late 1800’s
• Buffalo became extinct
• Hides were no longer
  available
• Plains Indians turned to
  missionaries, fur traders, and
  explorers to obtain supplies
• Missionaries taught Indian
  women how to make quilts
 The Beginnings of the
      Star Quilt
• Why did Indian women need to
  learn how to quilt?
  – To make bedding, since buffalo
    hides were no longer available
• Began incorporating the symbols
  seen in the past on buffalo hides
  into quilting designs
      Morning Star
• Became the dominant quilt
  design for Plains Indians
• Represents a new day and
  new beginnings
      The Star Quilt
• The morning star design is
  now known as the Star Quilt
• Made up of MANY small
  diamonds
Star Quilt Construction
       The Number 4
• A sacred number that represents
  – The directions of the four winds
  – The four powers of the universe
  – The four seasons
• Shown in the morning star design
  – The four directions that the star
    points
• It is common for 4 colors to be
  used in star quilts
      Making Quilting
        Their Own
• Plains Indians have made quilting
  their own cultural art form
• Star quilts have become a very
  important part of their culture
• The star quilt is the modern
  equivalent to painted buffalo
  hides
Giveaway Ceremonies
• Giveaway ceremonies are seen
  as hospitality Indian style
• Star quilts are given away at
  many different events
  –   Memorial services
  –   Graduations
  –   Weddings
  –   Funerals
  –   Births
  –   Powwows
  –   Basketball games
  –   Naming Ceremonies
   Symbolic Meaning of
      Giveaways
• Quilter is spreading love and
  friendship
• Quilter is giving part of
  themselves to another
  person
• Honors the recipient and the
  quilter
• Recipients experience joy
  from this gift
   What do Star Quilts teach
  us about Native Americans?

• History
  – Survival
     • Had to find something to replace buffalo
       hides
  – Necessity
     • Had to have bedding to keep warm
• Culture
  – Morning star symbolism
  – The sacred number 4
  – Giveaways

				
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posted:9/17/2011
language:English
pages:13