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JoEsther Parshall - Quillwork

JoEsther ParshallThe quillwork of JoEsther Parshall has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Best in Show at the Northern Plains Tribal Arts Exposition. Parshall, a Cheyenne River Lakota, earned her quillworking rights from Mandan-Hidatsa quillworker Carrie Brady on the Ft. Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. She is also a highly accomplished seamstress. Her quillwork is in several museum and private collections, including the South Dakota Historical Society, the Northern Plains Tribal Arts Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard.

JoEsther used porcupine quills dyed by Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale using madder root (red), bloodroot (yellow-orange), and indigo (blue). Zender and Dale are non-Indian artists who replicate early frontier arts including quillwork, silverwork, and canoe-making. They live in the woods of northern Michigan where they gather many of their materials in nature and are preserving important techniques like the natural dying of porcupine quills for traditional quillwork.


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