Quill work

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Quill work or quill embroidery (from English quill, sting ) is the name for decorations on objects made of leather or birch bark , mainly made by the Indians of North America from spliced ​​spines of the tree prick. The spines were flattened - either with the help of tools or pulled through the teeth, possibly colored and sewn onto clothing and everyday objects. Nowadays mostly glass beads are used, the processing of which is far less complex, but for smaller objects, e.g. B. earrings or medicine wheels , porcupine bristles are becoming more popular again.


  • BW Merwin: The Art of Quillwork. In: University of Pennsylvania Journal. Vol. 9, 1918.
  • FE Watkins: Ottawa Indian Quill-Decorated Birchbark Boxes. In: Southwest Museum Masterkey. Vol. 9, No. 4, 1935.
  • JH Naumann: An Oglala Family Maintains Traditions of Fine Quillwork. In: Native Arts West. 1, 2, 1980.