glass beads, cloth and velvet
The elaborate floral design on this mat is very different from traditional Sioux beaded objects, suggesting that it was made for trade to non-Native markets. Native American crafts became popular in late 19th-century America with the recognition of their formal and technical refinement. By the early 20th century, the market for native crafts especially valued the traditional iconographic features and materials identified as "indian." This beaded mat is anomalous and probably reflects the accommodation by a Native bead worker to the Victorian desire for home crafts and floral design. Within Victorian society, flowers epitomized the beauty of God's creation and the essence of refinement and femininity. In the early 1880s, features in North American women's magazines popularized Native beadwork and offered patterns for floral designs.
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