Winnebago Quilts: Honor and Celebration
This last statement describes the role of quilts among the Winnebago people. From the first lessons taught by 19th-century Euro-American missionaries and settlers, Winnebago have layered their own skills and motifs onto patterns that had been carried west across centuries and continents. Many Winnebago have themselves moved west, relocated by the U.S. government during the 1840s-1860s from their woodlands home in Wisconsin onto the open plains, historic territory of the Sioux.
Skirt panel (in progress). Nona Buffalo Calf. Ribbonwork, a form of reverse appliqué, features stylized motifs of flora and fauna, representing the tribe’s wooded ancestral homelands. Designs are individualized, and identify a person’s clan and family. Photo courtesy of Muriel Walker.