Monday, September 22, 2014

“Beaded Dress” by Mrs. Minnie Sky Arrow


Initial Reaction:
When looking through the text, I am skimming the photographs looking for something to catch my eye but most everything seems very unappealing. Then I finally came upon a piece that strikes my interest a lot. It has a lot of color -- the color is not dull but it is very vibrant and appealing to the eye. Also, there seems to be a lot of geometrical shapes are rearranged to make other shapes and designs. I find it very beautiful the way the designs are worked into the piece. there are also very elegant “C” and “S” curves used within the piece. Also I believe the piece I have chosen is some kind of native american outfit, which strikes my interest even more.
After research:
After looking the piece up, I learned that it is titled “Beaded Dress” and made by Mrs. Minnie Sky Arrow in 1890. The beaded dress is made of buck skin and is completely beaded on both sides, which makes all of the color of the dress and weighs around seven pounds. The beads being worked into the dresses/clothing wasn’t really known of until europe started importing glass beads into America in 1869. Once the Native Americans found use for these beads the women started working them into the clothing, especially the clothing used in ceremonies. Mrs. Sky Arrow had wore this particular beaded dress when she gave piano concerts around the country. With her amazing beadwork, it struck the attention of many Native American tribes/cults. One group in particular that was emotionally inspired by Wovoka decided to make a new kind of clothing, Ghost Dance shirts. They had believed that the shirts were bullet proof which led to the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890. Beadwork in clothing is still being produced in present day by Native Americans.

Works Cited:
Kampen-O'Riley, Michael. "The Americas." Art beyond the West: The Arts of Western and Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. 324. Print.

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