Thursday, December 30, 2010


You are going to have to have a big attitude!  

Finally I have finished this hat.  I had beaded the image of the cowgirl riding the buffalo over a year ago, but was just not quite satisfied with the hat.  It felt uncompleted.  So I decided to finally finish it this week by beading the brim.  And a much bigger job than I had thought.  It measures five feet around.  All beaded in small cut beads.  But now I can say I am done.

Big Cowgirl hats were all the rage back in the 1910's with the Rodeo set.  These women are participating at the Pendleton Round Up, in my home state of Oregon.   We love our big hats there.  

And back in the day, the women competed head to head with the men in rodeo events including the rough stock contests like bronc riding, as well as bull dogging and roping.  One of the first places where women's rights and equality held its own, long before women were even given the right to vote.  

Long live Cowgirls !


Monday, December 6, 2010


This is a pair of Blackfoot Bonnet cases made as the old ones were for a Blackfoot friend of mine who is a bundle owner.  The Blackfeet made and still make these cases to hold their Medicine and Society bundles. The Blackfeet have a very strong tradition of Medicine bundles which is very much in use today.  While the actual rawhide containers house the sacred material and can be seen as a "secular" item, nobody including myself should ever replicate or "play" with the actual material they hold unless you have the rights to do so procured thru proper initiation and training.  The Bundles are held in very high reverence by the Blackfeet and are the center of their identity.  To own one involves not only costly rites transfers, but training, learning the songs that go with the bundle (which actually give it the power it has associated with it) and also moral obligations as well as personal conduct restrictions.   One must hold annual bundle opening ceremony's along with the required feasts as well as other obligatory duties.  These bundles are not to be taken lightly.  

Although the tubular style of case is termed a "Bonnet" case, they can hold just about anything.  These are made with natural pigment paint and brain tanned fringes, as well as trade cloth trim.