Saturday, January 2, 2010

Branching out; Native American costume

Many years ago I made a few Native American horse costumes. They were not accurate for any tribe or time period but they were fun. But for awhile now I have wanted a nice, accurate Native American costume for live showing. But I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for one. So the research has begun. And the collecting. I bought a book of Native American bead weaving patterns, a bead loom, tiny beads in a bunch of colors, super thin beading needles (because I break them all the time and will probably need back-ups) and most recently I bought a book on Native American horse trappings. The problem with this last book is it is a book of paper dolls where the doll just happens to be a horse. So there are no good reference pictures in there though there is some history at least and it should be at least a bit useful. So I am still on the hunt for reference pictures. Every search I have tried has given me pictures of model horse costumes. Not necessarily accurate.
I really should be using bead trays but I would have to remember where I put them and I really wanted to get into the weaving. So my work area is covered with tiny beads.
The pattern book is very good and very easy to follow. To make things even easier on myself I mark the rows in pencil when I finish them. That way I don't have to think about where I am in the pattern and the work goes a bit faster.
Here I have finished the first part of the pattern. I think it is about an inch and a half long. I probably need 8-10 inches. This little piece took me about 2 hours. But that time also included stringing the loom which is a pain and takes a long time. I need to get back to my weaving soon.
Hopefully I will get more work done soon and I can post some updates. Or perhaps I will get super motivated and finish a whole section of a costume. I still need to get out to Tandy one of these days and get some deerskin. Then of coarse when the costume is done I will need to make a doll to go with it. After all, everybody needs dolls.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you found the Native American horse tack forum on yahoo yet? The official group email is: There are a TON of cool references in the archives and many amazing photos for documentation. There are a number of us model horse folks on there, but there are also some regular horse folks interested in Native American tack as well. Loved the boot article!