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A new project – material prep

While recently on a fishing trip “Up North,” I got a chance to harvest some bulrush (Scirpus spp.). I will be using this to make one or more traditional Native-style floor mats.  These mats were used on the floors of the wigwams and other various lodges of the Indian Nations in Wisconsin and throughout the Great Lakes.  It is also mentioned by both Juliette Kinzie (in her book Wau-Bun) and by Elizabeth Theresa Baird (in a number of her recorded recollections) that these mats were used in lieu of rugs on the cabin floors of the French, métis, and Creole in Wisconsin.  Below is a photo of one of these mats that I took at the State Historical Society Museum in Madison, WI.  In t5he photo, the mat is draped over something and only about half of it is showing.  There is also a roll of unused bulrush displayed with it.

I have most of the technical/technique stuff figured out (although a bit fuzzy on how to finish the final edge) and now just need to let the bulrush dry, dye some of it, and find time to weave the darn thing.  Maybe I will get to it late this winter… after I graduate from grad school!!!

2 Responses to “A new project – material prep”

  1. Peter Kadenbach says:

    I`m looking for this mats,because I need them for insite of my Wetu or Wigwam.It`s possible to buy this mats?
    Thank you very much and All the best to you!

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