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Styles and techniques of beadwork

Over the ages, the art and techniques of beadwork have changed but they have been handed down through many generations of Iroquois and are still an important tradition today.

Raised beadwork

Linear Style | White on red beadwork | Flat multicolored beadwork | Raised beadwork

The most spectacular of all the styles is raised beadwork. Perfected by the Mohawk and Tuscarora women, this technique consists of sewing several rows of tiny, translucent beads in such a way as to create a three-dimensional shape. Large beads, as well as multi-facetted tubular beads, add to the richness and brilliance of the work. Birds, foliage, and berries are formed in relief on the surface of the fabric. The cardboard patterns also served as a lining and support for these beadwork masterpieces.

Linear Style | White on red beadwork | Flat multicolored beadwork | Raised beadwork