Collections Highlight E33187: Toy Bow Drill
Free Public Lecture on Ancient Forest Gardens in the Pacific Northwest

Collections Highlight E5608: Pair of Bracelets

By Emily Cain

Can you guess what these colorful bracelets are made of? They each have borders of small white beads, but most of what you’re seeing is porcupine quill embroidery! Porcupine quills are commonly used decoratively across North America. The quills are flattened and dyed, then folded and sewn to create colorful patterns like this one. You can learn more about traditional quillwork knowledge here, in the curriculum the Arctic Studies Center produced as part of the Sharing Knowledge Alaska program. These particular bracelets, which became part of our collection in 1868, were likely made by the Gwich’in people of Northern Alaska and Northwestern Canada. As you’ll learn from the curriculum, the Gwich’in word for quill is ch’oo.

See more incredible Circumpolar objects by exploring the Anthropology Collections Search online!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)