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Necklaces and Accessories

fish scale necklace

Aboriginal artwork could be found in any number of artifacts, including necklaces, pendants, and other accessories for general wear or adornment. Necklaces can employ any number of natural elements in their making. Dried berries, pieces of bone, animal teeth, and dyed fish scales can all be used in the making of traditional necklaces. String would usually be a thin strip of rawhide, or string created from sinew. With the European fur trade, glass beads were introduced into Aboriginal artwork. Later, plastic beads were introduced and were used widely. Aside from beads, pendants could be carved out of wood or from the softened antler of a moose or caribou and attached to a string of rawhide or sinew.

belt with quillwork

Belts or sashes could be created by selecting a broad strip of tanned hide or a commercially available material like velvet or satin, and employing beadwork, quill-work, or hair tufting designs along the belt length. Knife sheaths and gun cases could be fashioned from tanned hide and decorated in a similar fashion. Fur pelts were used in making warm hats, and moosehide, muskrat, or beaver pelt could be crafted into mitts, mukluks, and other clothing items. These items could also see beadwork or quill-work design.

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