HK Item #NBJ-11
Fast Horse, Lakota
Soft buckskin backing.
Beads strung on leather; adjustable 18" to 30" by tying.
The Story of Beaded Prison Pendants
Some Lakota inmates in South Dakota jails have the talent and skill - and time - to produce really fine beadwork with buckskin backing. Some of the best beaders are older men serving life sentences. Beading supplies are provided by an inmate's family and when a number of beaded items are finished the family contacts Lakota artist and pipemaker Alan Monroe (read about Alan below). Alan pays the family for the items he wants and the family uses the money to purchase gift boxes through the prison for the beader. Gift boxes contain food and other commissary items and that is how the beaders get compensated for their work. When Alan receives the beaded items he adds a pendant hanger and one of his hand crafted bead necklaces.
Fancy dance is a style of dance loosely based on the war dance and it originated to preserve the culture and religion of various Indian tribes. During the 1920s and 1930s, Native American religious dances were outlawed by the United States and Canadian governments and new dances were created that could legally be danced in public. Fancy Dances were often performed for visitors to reservations and at Wild West shows and today are a popular event at many powwows.
What is Hair Pipe?
Hair pipe refers to 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Hair pipe is thought to have been originally made of conch shell by southeastern Indians (Chickasaw, Creeks, and Cherokee).Some of the oldest shell hair pipes, discovered in Tennessee, are estimated to be from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 pipe 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 pipe was made of glass, brass, silver, horn
and other materials.
Beads used by Native American artists are usually round but can be flattened (rondelle) or cylindrical. They are usually made of glass and come in a variety of colors. Most are one solid color except for European Trade Beads, which are mulit-colored and sometimes decorated. Beads are measured by the "aught" system with 1/0, pronounced "one aught", being the largest. The larger the number the smaller the bead.
Seed beads are the smallest round beads, 24/0 to 4/0. 24/0 is approx. 1/32 inch
(about the size of a grain of sand). Seed beads are used mainly for beaded items
Most contemporary high-quality seed beads are made in the Czech Republic, Japan or India.