As I’m about to start a new school year, I want to share something that I have made in the past year that I did not get around to sharing. This piece is near and dear to my heart because it is a personal piece of who I am.
I made this piece around a year ago, but never got around to sharing it. This piece was inspired by a traditional Native American Headdress – the war bonnet. Not all tribes used/use headdresses, or at least the stereotypical headdress. There are many different kinds of headdresses and many different tribes, and they all have their own traditions and visual culture. Traditional Native American/First Nations cultures are not valued or recognized in modern mainstream North American culture. These cultures are being forgotten. The random patterns that are being culturally appropriated do not count as celebrating the culture. This is what inspired me to do this piece. I aim to celebrate traditional Native American/First Nations cultures. One, to celebrate. Two, to remember. Three, to bring awareness, to remind people that Native culture is still beautiful and valuable. This is not just something that is only talked about in history books. Newsflash! There are still many Native Americans today that value traditional culture. We are not extinct, and we are not just in the past, we are living today.
Headdresses are sacred and can only be earned. To avoid violating the social rules of wearing a war bonnet, I used the same shape and made a piece that lays over the shoulders instead of placed on the head. I also used fabric strips instead of eagle feathers. I have not earned the right to wear those materials. However, I did make a piece inspired by the war bonnet.
This piece is comprised of 87 fabric strips, leather, and 2,970 beads. It look me about a month to make. The design used in the beading is a common pattern that multiple tribes adopted, and it is also used by the Cree. Most Cree patterns are floral beadwork, but they also use a few geometric patterns such as the one I used for this piece. The colors chosen are the colors of the Peguis First Nation community that my family is from. This piece means a lot to me, and was a very personal project to work on. I hope y’all appreciate it as much as I do, and I hope it gives you a reason so celebrate today ❤️
God has filled the earth with so many different cultures and people, and seeing the beauty in this shows His very character. God is a creator. THE creator. And He created us in His image to also be creators of culture and the world around us.
Until Next Time,
Victoria Grace <3