Some of the earliest tubular beads were undoubted made from long bones of mammals and birds, or from the bones of other animals, fish or reptiles. Claws, hoofs and teeth were occasional ornaments. Breech clouts, or loincloths, were decorated, sometimes with pieces of whales’ fins, whale-bones, or wampum. Sea-horse teeth [Walrus teeth], were readily available, their walrus ivory was considered valuable to the Europeans. The walrus survived in Micmac territory until 1761. Native Americans manufactured articles ivory and antler. Bone beads and ear pendants were carved in the form of animals, birds and fish. Some pendants from southern New England were made from whole bones like turtle femurs, fox mandibles, or teeth and claws, drilled or grooved for suspension.
Beadwork Bibliography and Books to Buy On-Line
© 1994-1999 Tara Prindle.