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Seminole Patchwork Essay, Research Paper

? Cross? or? sacred fire? , ? pointer? , ? zigzag? , ? bird? , ? moving ridge? , ? mountains? and? diamondback rattler? all have something in common. What do all of these names have in common? They are all names of Seminole hodgepodge designs. What precisely is patchworking? It can be defined as the procedure of run uping pieces of solid colored fabric together to do long rows of designs, which are so joined horizontally to other sets of fabric to organize a garment ( Downs, 1995, 88 ) . This Native American graphics is closely associated with the Florida Seminoles. The history of this folk and how they came to do hodgepodge garments is instead interesting. In doing hodgepodge garments, things to be considered include how it is done ( procedure ) , what elements of design are used, whom the garment is to be made for and who really makes it. Soon, there are less creative persons in this trade and the hereafter of hodgepodge may be at hazard. Seminole hodgepodge has been done for over a century, and it? s beauty and uniqueness demands to be revealed and recognized by Americans.

The Seminole Indians were non ever located in Florida. In the early nineteenth Century the Seminoles lived in the cool countries of Georgia. They wore animate beings fells and pelts to maintain warm. This all changed in 1830, when President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Policy of 1830, which forced the Seminoles to fly to Florida. In flying to Florida they left behind their places, some relations who refused to go forth and their cool clime. In Florida, there was no longer a demand for the warm pelt and fells and they turned to the usage of fabric. In 1840, they disappeared into the Everglades and lived at that place in peace, with no influences from other folks. The Everglades were rich with alien points that were worth a batch in trade markets. Once a twelvemonth, the Seminoles would take a ocean trip on the Miami River to Miami. In Miami they could merchandise points such as alligator fells and egret plumes for axial rotations of cotton fabric. The Seminoles would utilize the cotton to do assorted pieces of vesture. One twelvemonth, a ocean trip could non be made to Miami to achieve more fabric and the Seminoles were forced to utilize garbages of fabric, run uping them together to do a big piece of fabric or garment. These scrapped together garments were so called? Taweekaache? , better known as hodgepodge. ( Westermark? Many Bad Horses ) These hodgepodge garments brought tourers to the alcoholic, tropical scene of the Everglade country. Tourists flocked to see the Seminole Indians and to purchase their hodgepodge pieces. The procedure of doing these garments was instead slow and slightly complicated ( Blackard and West, Downs, 1995, 85 ) .

A Seminole hodgepodge requires the shaper to take/cut many pieces of clothe and so run up them together. The procedure of stitching, cutting, run uping and so on consequences in the devising of complex geometric designs. There is a six-step procedure that illustrates how hodgepodge is done. This procedure is that of Nea Dodson, a modern twenty-four hours hodgepodge creative person. The form is really simple, but is one that is good to acquire your pess wet in patchmaking. This procedure is the same used by the original Seminoles.

1. ) Cut scraps into equal sized squares, doing certain to be accurate.

2. ) Next, cut a impersonal cloth into long strips, which are every bit broad as the bit squares.

3. ) Sew the bit squares between two strips of impersonal cloth, like this.

4. ) Cut strips apart so you now have a rectangle made of three squares: a square of impersonal, a bit square and another square of impersonal. It is of import that the borders are consecutive and the two impersonal sides are even.

5. ) Shift one rectangle down so that the top border of the topmost impersonal square on the right is even with the top border of the bit square on the left. Sew the rectangles together. Keep adding rectangles in this mode. You will acquire a strip that looks like this.

6. ) Keep adding rectangles until you have a strip every bit long as you want. Turn the strip so that the bit squares are all on point ( standing on one corner ) . Pare the upper and lower corners off the impersonal squares ( see the flecked line in the first image ) .

The ensuing piece of hodgepodge should look like this:

Bing a adult female herself, Nea Dodson must cognize what it was like for the adult females of the Seminole folk. All that cutting and manus stitching must hold been really boring. It wasn? T until the 1880? s that the manus operated stitching machine made its introduction into Seminole small towns. This made the procedure much easier and hodgepodge shortly flourished. The stitching machine could make more undertakings and integrate more characteristics into Seminole vesture. Around 1900, adult females were seting? built in? belts into work forces? s shirts. ( Blackard and West ) Then around 1920, the Seminole adult females began to set sets of contrasting colourss into their vesture. A Seminole named Judy Bill Osceola comments: ? There wasn? t any designs so, there was merely pieces of fabric. . . When they put all of the pieces together, they saw it was colourful and that was that ( Downs, 1995, 89 ) . ? Design plays of import portion in the devising of any trade or piece of graphics. The elements of design in patchworking can be easy seen.

There are four prevailing elements of design found in hodgepodge garments. These four elements are colour, texture, beat ( gesture ) and form. Color is really of import because it brings attending to the garments. Bright pieces of cloth are used in hodgepodge vesture, giving life and spirit to the wearer. Colorss were sometimes a spot contrasting in that a bright warm colour may be put into a predominately cool colored garment. This contrast brought attending to certain designs and forms. Next, the texture of hodgepodge garments started out merely holding a field, crisp cotton expression, but one time satin began to be used, the texture had a smooth, shimmery expression. The texture of these garments lies to a great extent in the stuff used. The beat or gesture of the hodgepodges is really of import. All hodgepodge garments are made so that the sets of forms are horizontal. These sets wrap all the manner around giving the garment a round, streamlined gesture. Though colour, texture and beat are of import, the biggest component in patchworking is pattern. Every garment is made with a particular form that has either a spiritual, household, historical or mundane life significance. These forms were foremost given names by a white adult female named Harriet Bedell, who was an Indian Arts Activist. She encouraged the Seminole adult females to give the hodgepodge patterns names to ease their growing in the concern market. The first two hodgepodge forms documented through exposure were bold and basic. They were the? rain? and? fire? forms as seen in beginning one. Another popular form made around the same clip was one that looked

like a checker board and named? rain and storm? ( beginning two ) . As clip moved on, the development of forms augmented. The form? rain? was no longer merely perpendicular chevrons ; it was now comprised of horizontal chevrons ( beginning three ) . Another development in forms was that certain household units had particular representational forms such as the? bear? , ? snake? , ? jaguar? , ? crayfish? , ? frog? , ? polo-neck? , ? bird? , ? cervid? and so on ( beginning four ) . Along with? fire? and? rain? forms, other mundane life forms were merely as common. Some illustration of these are? buoy uping bolts? , ? crosses? , ? bobbins? , ? pointer? , ? mountains? , ? trees? , ? beckon? and? storm? ( beginning five ) . Any of these forms could be put into any one garment. As shown in beginning six, the adult females? s skirt has forms such as? fire? , ? tree? and? rain and storm? incorporated into its design. Both adult females and work forces? s garments looked the same, but each had their ain differentiations ( Downs, 1995, 90-108 ) .

All of the forms mentioned before and so some can be found in all Seminole vesture. No form was gender specific. Womans? s garb consisted of a skirt, blouse and jewellery. The skirt was a really full, floor-length skirt. At knee degree there was a frill and the whole skirt gathered around the adult female? s waist. The blouse worn was long sleeved, with an affiliated ness that could be closed to cover the highly short blouse. The existent blouse was so short that it would hardly cover the adult female? s thorax and left a few inches of her middle screening. In old exposure, like the one in beginning seven, adult females were ever photographed with their weaponries crossed in forepart of their middle spread, giving the exposure a sense of decency. Then to exceed the outfit off, they would have on 10-15 lbs of glass beads. All of the garments were made of hodgepodge of class, but is thought that Mrs. Alice William McKinely Osceola was the first adult female to have on a row of hodgepodge on her frock ( beginning eight ) . A row of? fire? adorned her ness. Besides you can clearly see the 10-15 lbs of glass beads around her cervix ( Blackard and West ) .

The adult male? s garb was a small less complex than that of the adult female? s. Men wore a simple full cut shirt and either a short skirt or bloomerss, depending on what Seminole folk you look at. A really popular garment for work forces was the? large shirt? , which had a gathered girdle at the articulatio genuss. The? large shirt? besides known as the? long shirt? , came to be known as the? medical specialty adult male? s coat? . Merely those of particular rank or stature so wore them. Originally this was non the instance, all work forces owned one and it had no association tied to it ( Blackward and West ) . Subsequently into the nineteenth Century and into the twentieth Century, a hodgepodge jacket gathered at the waist and carpus was rather popular. In beginning nine you can see present twenty-four hours Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, James E. Billie have oning a hodgepodge jacket ( Westermark -Bad Horses ) . James E. Billie is non the lone present twenty-four hours Seminole to have on traditional hodgepodge garments, but the figure of Seminoles who do non continue the tradition of hodgepodge outweighs those who do.

Seminole hodgepodge in the 90? s has been slightly dissatisfactory. There was one time a clip when the art of stitching was the most of import event in a immature miss? s life and their female parent, aunt, grandma or other household member still loved to maintain the tradition alive. Present twenty-four hours Seminole adult females have moved into the occupation market and do non hold clip to do the hodgepodges by manus. Alternatively they buy axial rotations of pre-made hodgepodge or already assembled outfits. Thus the history and tradition of patchworking easy fades off with each go throughing twelvemonth. Fortunately those like Effie Osceola, Irene Cypress and Pauline Doctor have taken the clip to make new complex forms and maintain the old manner of doing hodgepodge garments alive in the 1990? s. In beginning 10, eleven and twelve, you can see the work of Effie, Irene and Pauline severally. It is easy to see the complexness of the forms in comparing to those of early twenty-four hours forms such as? fire? and? rain? . In beginning 10 and twelve the usage of metallic stuff is used giving the garments a flashier more modern twenty-four hours expression, but at the same clip retaining the orginial procedure of doing hodgepodges ( Downs, 1995, 115-117 ) .

In 1995-1996, Lee Tiger, a Public Relations Executive, held a Seminole hodgepodge exhibition in Berlin, Germany. This exhibition showcased the plants of Seminole hodgepodge throughout clip. Showing the patterned advance from around the 1900? s to now. This exhibition was held to make consciousness of Seminole hodgepodges, but what precisely does the hereafter clasp for Seminole hodgepodge? ( Westermark? Bad Horses ) This inquiry is a good one, because present twenty-four hours Seminoles do non hold an reply to this inquiry. The adult females who know how to run up hodgepodge together are going instead old and they are losing seeing and memory on how to make it. Seminole adult females in their mid-fortiess or younger seem to non hold an involvement in doing hodgepodges any longer. ? They recognize its importance non merely as a grade of tribal individuality but as a touchable nexus to their cultural heritage? , ( Downs, 1995, 118 ) . Stairss are being taken to maintain the tradition alive. Schools are now learning immature misss how to run up and do hodgepodges, and cultural plans are being brought into several folks to learn the same thing. These attempts should convey a new consciousness to their heritage and Seminole hodgepodge will once more boom throughout the folks. ( Downs, 1995, 118-119 )

In a sense, it was good for the Seminole Indians to be forced into Florida. If they were to stay in the cool parts of Georgia, so they might hold worn pelts and fells everlastingly. Alternatively they were forced to do dressing out of cotton garbages and therefore started a tradition known as hodgepodge. The Seminole? s history was really critical to their heritage. When doing these hodgepodges garments, things that were taken into consideration were the procedure, elements of design, who wears them and who makes them. The hereafter of Seminoles may be at hazard, but attempts through instruction and public dealingss hopefully will halt absolution of hodgepodge. Seminole hodgepodge has been done for over a century, and it? s beauty and singularity has been and further demands to be revealed and recognized by Americans. ? Patchwork has done more than merely place the people of the Seminole folk: it has reflected their pride in their Indian heritage ( Downs, 1995, 119 ) . ?


Blackard, David M. and West, Patsy. ? Seminole Clothing: Colorful Patchwork. ?

( 9 Dec. 1999 )

Dodson, Nea. ? Seminole Patchwork. ?

Downs, Dorothy. Art of The Florida Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

University Press of Florida, 1995. ( pages 83-119 )

Westermark- Many Bad Horses, Victoria. ? Seminole Patchwork. ?

( 9 Dec. 1999 )

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