NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art

Bone and Antler Beads and Pendants of the Eastern Forest

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.

Return to Types of Beads and Pendants

Return to NativeTech's Beadwork Menu

Beadwork Bibliography and Books to Buy On-Line

Go To NativeTech's Home Page

© 1994-1999 Tara Prindle.