Ribbonwork is one of the traditional Fine Crafts of the Osage Nation. The great use of color, forms and techniques makes each piece a true work of art. Many of the fine skilled craftspeople learn the techniques at the foot of elders, passing on this tradition from generation to generation. Ribbonwork, fingerweaving and other crafts are still practiced in the Osage Nation today.
Older pieces, such as the wedding coat pictured above and the dance shawl are dramatic in colors and intricate in design. I have been told by one ribbon artist that she can sometimes tell the maker by the patterns and techniques.
Tallgrass Gallery is pleased to have several pieces of ribbonwork for sale. Also visit the Osage Tribal Museum for more examples of this fine traditional art or the Osage County Museum. The Marland Home, downtown Ponca City Oklahoma, also has some fine pieces in their collection.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery