Seminole Patchwork
Seminole patchwork

Seminole Patch Work

  • This intricate handwork was developed by Seminole women in the 1800's as a necessity for clothing which had to be made from scraps of material and leftovers during difficult times.
  • At first made by hand, the style developed into definite designs made of tribal motifs with significant meanings, and as sewing machines became available, the designs grew even more intricate. Small hand sewing machines were the most the Indian women could afford, and this became their chosen equipment to complete their clothing designs.
  • Everyday clothing, although colorfu,l was somewhat plainer than the elaborate designs and materials chosen for festivals and special events. Shown in the exhibit are original skirts and jackets along with beads and necklaces for ornaments.
  • Seminole dolls made of palm fiber are clothed in miniature patchwork outfits. Those on display are over 75 years old, with the large pair of Seminole man and woman a replica of a pair in the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in New York City.