Quilled Moccasins, 9 x 12, oil on canvas
Porcupine quillwork is an art form completely unique to North America. Before the introduction of glass beads, quillwork was a major decorative element used by the peoples who resided in the porcupine’s natural habitat.
In regions where the porcupine was not found, quills generally became a significant trade item.Although it was the practice to use the quills from porcupines, it was not an uncommon practice to use bird quills.
Quills were often dyed red, yellow, green, purple and orange.To get these colors, the quills are soaked in moss, roots, berries, herbs and other plants.