Former Chief Barry Dana, Penobscot, does birch bark work. Barry does both porcupine quill design and etching qoek in traditional Wabanaki designs as well as realistic etchings of natural scenes... such as pumpkins and corn, portraits, moose, deer, birds etc.
Sadly David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy - father, husband, craftsman, environmentalist, wonderful speaker, crafter of canoes and birch bark art - as well as a true friend to so many passed away on January 20th, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. He is missed tremendously by all who knew him. -
Hummingbird hovers over a red flower with red hearts/double curves of porcupine quills on each corner of this birch bark and coiled sweetgrass envelope basket by Paul St John, Mohawk craftsman.
Neck knife: Bear and Wabanaki double curve motifs of porcupine quill on handmade birchbark sheath with skinning knife by Paul St John, Mohawk craftsman. This birch bark neck knife sheath has a large "cinnamon" bear at the top and Wabanaki double curve designs the front bottom.
A stunningly realistic hummingbird of porcupine quill hovers above a purple blossom on this traditional round birch bark box. More purple flowers, connected by a vine with leaves grace the sides of the box. Paul St John, Mohawk craftsman uses variegated purple dyed porcupine quills for the flowers, and variegated green dyed quills for the leaves and vine.
Barry Dana has used a traditional technique called scrape work to illustrate a Penobscot legend, that of "Rabbit Smoking His Pipe" on this birch bark mukuk. Scrape work is done by gently and slowly scraping away the very thin outer layer of the winter bark to reveal the lighter surface beneath.
An 1854 moose hair embroidered cheroot/cigar case, red woolen stroud cloth over birch bark with "Niagra Falls 1854" written on the birchbark inner case - see photo. Photos show both sides of this case, the top of the case, close ups of the embroidery, and the place and date on the inner case.
This small birch bark trunk/casket meant to hold jewelry or other small important items was made about 1840-70. A floral motif of moose hair embroidery decorates this attractive small box. Moose hair embroidery is very rare... increasingly difficult to find. A recent web search turned up only 1 other moose hair embroidered item for sale via the internet.
The tag included in the glass topped display case says "moose hair embroidery birch bark needle case in the shape of the state of Michigan - ca 1850- Huron"
Former Chief Barry Dana, Penobscot calls this birch bark container "Molly Ockett's Medicine Basket. This basket is a tribute to Molly Ockett, who was reputed to be a skilled healer and wise woman with a singular sense of humor. She was well known by European settlers in the area and her name is still attached to numerous locales in the Androscoggin River valley and surrounding territory.