Winnebago Quilts: Honor and Celebration
Look to the Future
Today, Redhorn is teaching her daughters, Winona and Savannah, those needle skills, and more. “I tell them the stories my grandma told me.” Redhorn especially enjoys making the girls’ dance regalia. To embellish the dance regalia worn by her daughters for powwows, Sharon uses another traditional Winnebago stitching technique: wawaje or ribbonwork, a version of mirror-image appliqué. Redhorn puts a thin batting under her ribbonwork to give it a trapunto effect. Redhorn and her daughters travel to powwows and frequently dance together. “This is what keeps us close,” she says. Sharon and others teach quilting at Woodland Trails Art Center in Winnebago, Nebraska. Whether for income or giveaways, quilts represent the history, culture, endurance, practicality, and beauty of their makers and of the Winnebago people. Each one is both an honoring and celebration.
Savannah and Winona, daughters of Sharon Redhorn, wear regalia for celebration dancing. Photo courtesy of Don Doll, S.J., Creighton University.