Design your own Dakota Florals
Template sheet by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota)
This rare cape exemplifies the skillfully executed floral designs characteristic of Dakota beadwork. Using the smallest of glass beads, artists create symmetrical, balanced motifs inspired by the plants they see around them. Note the intricately worked stars sprinkled across the cape and the delicate tendrils along the clasp opening.
Cradle covers were usually made by the relatives of the child, and given to the mother to use when the baby arrives. Cradles play an important function because it nestles the child, and the cradle can be worn on the mother’s back, or put on the side of a horse. Highly decorated ones are especially prized because it is symbolic of the pride and love of the child, and illustrates the skill of the artists. This porcupine quilled cradle cover is an excellent example of Dakota work. It features elaborate floral designs and animals. Elk, buffalo, dragonflies, and butterflies can be found. The artist who created this masterpiece had an exceptional command of quillworking, illustrated by the graceful portrayal of the birds.