Working with Porcupine Quills. (First Attempt)

This is a fun little project and relatively simple considering it was my first time working with quills. I decided to make a decorative patch for my LL Bean backpack, paying homage to the Haudenosaunee that were indigenous to my area.

The 2 blocks to the left, the center tree and the 2 blocks to the right represent the original 5 tribes of the Iroquois Nation, or more properly, the Haudenosaunee. The tree in the center represents the Onondaga, who being centrally located was regarded as the Capitol of the confederacy. It was on Onondaga land that the “Tree of Peace” was planted and the central meeting place for the tribes of the east and west. The government of the United States is modeled after the Haudenosaunee model.

The 2 tribes to the left (West) of the Capitol were the Seneca and Cayuga. The 2 tribes to the right (East) were the Oneida and Mohawk.

I chose to use quills as it was a very common decorative items used by the native peoples in my area. Please note- I did not use traditional methods for this project.

Quills can be obtained through Amazon via Crazy Crow Trading Post although a current search only found 1/4 oz.

I opted for the ones that weren’t “cleaned” or sorted and of natural color. Basically quills were pulled from the critter, packaged and sent out. Guard hairs and all. That’s ok though, as cleaning and sorting adds to the fun. If preferred, you can buy dyed quills if you want a little color for your project. (FYI- 1oz of porcupine quills is quite a bit of quills.)

While I suppose you should use some caution when handling quills, they are not going to skewer you, (unless you really try) but you should wash your hands after handling them and keep your hands out of your mouth while using them.

All in all, a fun easy project that anyone should be able to do.

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