Tilda St. Pierre - Lakota Crafts

Beaded piece (red beaded background with green border, blue and yellow pattern) by Tilda St. PierreLakota artist Tilda Long Soldier St. Pierre of Kyle started learning beadwork at age ten from her mother’s aunt, beginning with loom work and moving on to sewing beads on leather. At the time, she and her cousin resented the time spent indoors learning crafts when they’d rather have been outside playing, but now she appreciates that early education. 

Tilda says she does not do quillwork herself, because she has not felt called to do so in dreams, but she can teach the techniques. Preparing the quills first requires finding a dead porcupine, then plucking the quills, washing and soaking them to remove the natural oils so the dye will take, then dyeing and flattening them for sewing.