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NATIVE AMERICAN QUILL WORK
Porcupine quillwork is an art indigenous to North America and was wide spread all across the country. It pre-dates the use of European imported glass beads. The animals' quills are collected by skinning the animal or throwing a blanket over him so that he ejects his quills into the blanket. They are then sorted by size and either used in their natural color, or are dyed using native plants or commercial dyes. They are soaked in water, the sharp barb clipped off, then used in embroidery. There are about 30 different quillwork stitches or techniques, some of which have been lost. Only a handful of quill-workers remain.