Sunday, September 29, 2013

Native Peoples Series :: Color

I know I've been a bad blogger this past week! No great excuse other than life gets in the way sometimes.

I have, of course, continued to bead. When things get hairy, beading just kind of relaxes me. Lately I've been feeling like working with simple colors and simple patterns. I've been wanting to make some beaded fringe earrings, and finally pulled out some rusty reds with white for accent. 

I spent a fair amount of time reading about Native American beading this summer. One of my favorite books is by David Dean Beading in the Native American Tradition

In looking through lots, and lots of traditional Native American designs I've noticed there are some basic color pallets. David Dean notes that traditional beads were made from shells and natural dyes and pigments. So colors were earth tones like reds, yellows, oranges, purples and greens. He says that while tribal people were impressed with all the colors of glass (the Europeans brought over to trade with) the one that they were most fascinated with was blue because they had difficulty producing it from natural dyes and pigments. In addition, many considered having beads in light shades of blue was like "owning a piece of the sky." Therefore blue was most valuable for trading.

I've been playing with color in my patterns. Looking for that tribal feel. I do like an earthy, rustic red as it feels authentic to the colors available to native people.

16 comments:

BeadedTail said...

That's a style I didn't expect from you but as always it's beautiful! I love the posts you used too!

Kathy Lindemer said...

I love these!

Therese's Treasures said...

Very pretty Cynthia, thank you for sharing a bit of the history of the beads given to the Native Americans.
Therese

LisaS said...

Interesting background info on north American glass bead trade. Your earrings are beautiful.

Swapna Dinesh said...

I think you achieved what you aimed for !! Beautiful..

Duni said...

Fascinating! And I love this fringed style!

Halinka said...

Hi:-)
Beautiful earrings in the native style.Lovely colors of the design.
All the Best-Halinka-

kimmykats said...

Fun earrings! Love the history you have shared with us!

Linda Y said...

Great earrings. Will check out the book too. I love Native American style.

Claudia Aguilar said...

I like the idea of 'owning a piece of sky' thanks for the background info. Cheers my friend!

Shel said...

These are super Cynthina - love that red - I bet these feel really nice to wear, too. So happy you shared this history. Even living in the Southwest as I do with Native American Art all around, I had no idea that light blue was a 'hard to come by' color and will now think of this each time I see Native American Art pieces.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Beautifully done! That is quite interesting that the blue beads were so valuable. I never thought about how that could not be created naturally! Light blue definitely screams sky. :)

Caron Michelle said...

There is a lot to be learnt from our past, love the design and colours you have used, they are a beautiful reflection of this period!

Magic Love Crow said...

Don't worry about being a bad blogger! We all do it sometimes ;o) Great new earrings! Love the native feel ;o)

Splendid Little Stars said...

I've traveled in the American Southwest and have seen tribal beadwork. You have captured the style and feel! lovely!

Christine Altmiller said...

I love coming here for SO many reasons, but tied for first place with beady goodness is the history you treat us with. I learn so much from you :-)
And these earrings are fantastic!

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