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Horsekeeping LLC - Made in USA - since 1997
Monroe - Lakota
$90 each plus s/h
Paula says - "This buckskin bag is made in the style of a traditional plains Indian pouch. It has a 2" diameter hand made, hand dyed porcupine quill medicine wheel in 4 colors. It is adorned with brass cones and beads, hair pipes, and glass crow beads in 4 colors. Read about the Four Sacred Colors.
"Each bag is adorned with brass cones and beads, bone hair pipe beads, and glass crow beads in the four sacred colors. Read about the Four Sacred Colors.
"Each bag is hand cut and hand stitched so the one you receive might vary slightly from the one pictured.
"An Authenticity card from the artist is available upon request. Just add a note in the box on the order form."
Alan Monroe - Oglala Lakota
Alan Monroe creates his Northern Plains artwork from hides, stone, leather, and wood. He learned the basics of quill working, weaponry, sculpting and pipe making from traditional and contemporary artisans in his family circle. He is a fifth generation pipe maker and considered by many to be a master pipe maker. In his sculptures, Monroe works with a variety of materials such as pipestone, bone, wood and alabaster. He creates small objects like fetishes to large pieces than can weigh hundreds of pounds. Al Monroe's work can be seen in many galleries and museums across the country and he has won many awards. Al Monroe was born in Hot Springs , South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He graduated from Hot Springs High School and studied business and art in Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota.
Porcupine quill work is one of the oldest and fastest disappearing Native American art forms. The Great Lakes and Plains Indians lived in the range of the porcupine and utilized the quills to decorate moccasins, sheaths, baskets, pipe stems and more. The porcupine was not sacrificed to obtain the quills, although porcupine meat is quite delicious. Instead the women of the tribe would throw a blanket over an unsuspecting porcupine who would release the quills as a defense and leave them in the blanket. The quills are dyed with plant origin colors such as buffalo berry for red, sunflower or cone flower for yellow, and wild grapes for black. Once dry, they are oiled so they wouldn't become brittle and shatter when sewing them. Beading began replacing quillwork in the early 1800s and today there are only a few artists that work with porcupine quills.
Hair pipes are long hollow beads usually, but not always, having tapered ends. The term "hair pipe" was likely coined by early white traders who saw indians wearing the long beads as hair ornaments.
Hair pipes are thought to have been originally made of conch shell by southeastern Indians (Chickasaw, Creeks, and Cherokee).Some of the oldest shell hair pipes, discovered in Tennessee, are estimated to be from 4,000 years ago.
Hair pipes of bone appeared around the late 1800s when white traders brought corn cob pipes to the Ponca Indians of the midwest - the Poncas found that the bone pipe stems made excellent hair pipes. Later, hair pipes were made of glass, brass, silver, horn and other materials.
Crow beads are cut from colored tubes of glass or plastic and tumbled and polished to give a smooth rounded, slightly oval finish. They commonly range in size from 6mm to 9mm with a 3mm hole. Crow beads are popular for decorating medicine bags, hair braids and some Native American styles of jewelry.
The Medicine Wheel, or Circle of Life, is found in many tribes and in many parts of the world, but there are beliefs common to them all. The compass points North, South, East and West give four directions. Mother Earth is below and Father Sky is above, giving six directions. These six directions are also symbolized by animal fetish carvings.
The circle shape represents life. We change like the seasons as we pass through life, traveling through the part of the circle. The center of the circle is the Spirit, from which everything extends and everything returns.
Below are some general beliefs about the colors, animal totems and uses of the medicine wheel. Every tribe and every person has their own beliefs and you should use what best represents what you believe.
"I received my Alan Monroe bag yesterday and I'm very pleased with it. Thank you very much." - MR