Porcupine quilling is an ancient Native American art used particularly among East Coast and Plains tribes. Indian quillwork involves softening and dying stiff porcupine quills and weaving them onto leather or birchbark. The most stunning examples of porcupine quill artistry were the Plains Indian war shirts, each of which would take a skilled quill-worker more than a year to embroider. Medicine bags, moccasins, jewelry, birchbark boxes, and baskets were other crafts frequently quilled in the past. Today, Native American quillwork embroidery is nearly a lost art. Porcupine quills are difficult to work with, and quilled leather is more difficult to take care of than beaded leather. Most quillers switched to beadwork when seed beads became widely available, since beading uses many of the same skills as quilling but is less grueling.
Black Bear Crossings has stocked several one-of-a-kind bracelets & necklaces from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As well as earrings & boxes from White Earth, Grand Portage & Fond Du Lac reservations.