Cape, c. 1800-1850

Not on Viewexpand_more

The introduction of European beads, ribbons, and cloth through trade gave Eastern Woodlands people new possibilities for ornamentation. Women skilled in needlework responded by producing increasingly elaborate clothing and accessories like this beaded coat collar.

The collar's double-curve motif, undulating lines, and rhythmic linear pattern all derive from earlier Woodlands quillwork designs. However, its intricate pattern, worked in tiny glass beads and silk ribbons, would have been impossible to achieve with porcupine quills.
This collar was probably made to be a gift. In 1803, a Seneca family presented it to a Euro-American lawyer from western New York in gratitude for legal assistance that very likely involved land issues.

Accession Number
Curator Approved

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