Native American beadwork is a beautiful and highly collectible art form that has been commonly traded by tribes since ancient times. Native American beads were traditionally made from shell, coral, wood, silver, copper, horn, wood, turquoise and other indigenous stones. About 500 years ago, glass beads were introduced and became a very popular Native American beading material used by many tribes.
Very fine seed beading has become highly sought after due to its intricate detail work and vibrant colors. Native American beading is a very difficult and delicate art, taking years of practice to learn and perfect. It is a time-consuming art with many pieces taking months or even years to complete.
Beading is often done on a leather base with beads sewn on individually or attached in loops. Native American beaded art items include papooses, moccasins, clothing and various containers. Beaded strands are often used to create jewelry, ornamentation and other decorative items.
Plains Indian beadwork is one of the more popular styles due to its very intricate stitching, but there are lots of collectible tribal beadworks throughout North America. Some examples include the floral beadwork from the Northern Indians, turquoise beading from the Southwest Indians and wampum belts of the Eastern Indians. The turquoise stone, known as the “fallen sky stone”, has been valued by Native Americans for over 7000 years for its beauty and spiritual significance.
As Native American tribes became in closer contact, indigenous designs and materials were shared among craftsmen, further enhancing the beauty and diversity of this art form.
Fighting Bear Antiques is pleased to offer a collection of Native American beadwork pieces. We invite you to explore our galleries and please contact us with any questions or requests you may have.
Please browse our picture galleries. If you see something of interest, or something that is close to what you are looking for, give us a call or drop us a line and we can tell you if something similar is available.