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Quill Art videos

Athabascan peoples harvested porcupine to eat and also carefully processed its quills into a fine material to beautify special items. Some artists continue to use quill in their work. In 2013, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted the Dene Quill Art project, bringing together two Athabascan artists and an ethnographic conservator to share quillwork techniques and develop new ones by studying historic museum pieces. They shared their expertise with students, museum visitors and local Alaska Native artists, along with conservators who learned how to better care for quillwork objects in museum collections. The video set presented here introduces participants and provides detailed demonstrations of how to work with quill from cleaning and dying, to sewing, wrapping folding and weaving. Links to a selection of Alaska Native objects from the Smithsonian collections made with porcupine quill are included below.

Tags: Alaska, Native art, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Athabascan, Dene, museum, education, Indigenous, quill, porcupine, conservator, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Porcupine Quill Weaving

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 1 (of 8): Introduction

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 2 (of 8): Materials & Preparation

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 3 (of 8): Dyeing Quills

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 4 (of 8): Folding and Wrapping

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 5 (of 8): Edging

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 6 (of 8): Weaving

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 7 (of 8): Meet the Artists

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Creating Quillwork 8 (of 8): Meet the Conservators

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Tunic

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Mittens

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Gloves

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Toboggan bag

National Museum of the American Indian

Belt

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Creating Quillwork 2 (of 8): Materials & Preparation

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska