Winnebago Quilts: Honor and Celebration
Around the world, quilts have, from earliest times, had emotional as well as functional purposes. Quilts convey status, affiliation, pedigree. They are a canvas for artistic expression and technical virtuosity; a banner for opinions and beliefs; a testament of piety. Some are the “silk purses” of spare lives; the prototype for recycling. Others are extravagant and exquisite nonpareils made for display. Within certain groups especially, quilts provide emotional warmth and protection; their various pieces, like the members of the community, are stitched together into a vibrant and affirming life force.
Buffalo Quilt. Maria Scott. (This is not technically a quilt, but piecework, behind glass.) This quilt is hung in the Spiritual Room at the Winnebago Hospital. Photo courtesy of Muriel Walker.