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By: John C. Ewers
The Blackfeet Indians of the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains reside on three separate reservations in Canada and the Blackfoot Reservation in northern Montana. They were typical Plains Indians, dependent almost wholly upon the buffalo until these vast herds were almost exterminated by the mid-1880's. They were a hunting people, aggressive and powerful, who dominated areas from the Yellowstone well into Canada. Although they are worthy of interest as a proud and strong nation, they also have a well-earned reputation as artists and craftsmen.
In this study of 1945, John C. Ewers, then Curator of the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, Montana, describes the four major crafts of the Blackfeet skin preparation and sewing, painting, quillwork, and beadwork--all of which are primarily concerned with the manufacture and ornamentation of articles fashioned from animal skins.
Many photographs illustrate the verbal descriptions of the manufacture and use of artifacts. A large section of Embroidery Designs is a treasury of information for contemporary students and craftsmen. Detailed diagrams demonstrate how these procedures were accomplished. A bibliography of additional readings is appended to complete the work.
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