Winnebago Quilts: Honor and Celebration
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Writer: Suzanne Smith Arney
A Star Quilt hangs above the library’s circulation desk. A single star pieced of vibrantly colored diamonds dominates its field of light blue. At its center is an appliqued buffalo, engrossed in a book. The quilter, Maria Scott, was commissioned to make the banner, which encourages reading. It’s an engaging and light-hearted image, but it’s emphatically and assuredly of this particular place—The Winnebago Indian Reservation—in its style and motif. Buffalo is one of the tribe’s sacred clans; they serve as public criers, messengers. In this case, the quilt is the medium that supports the buffalo’s message.
Little Priest Tribal College Library Quilt; 2003. 76 inches square. Pieced by Maria Scott (quiltmaker unknown.) This quilt was commissioned for the college’s new library and made by Maria Scott in time for its 2004 opening. Photo courtesy of Natalie Davis.