Niagara Falls – “the greatest market for splendid Indian work of every variety.”

Beadwork was a major source of income for the Mohawk, Tuscarora and Seneca of New York, who catered to the tourist clientele that flocked to Niagara Falls. The novelties or “whimsies” that they created, perfectly suited Victorian tastes and complemented late nineteenth century interior decorating schemes. Beaded pieces like the “FAST CANOE” and “BOX” suggest an element of humor in the dealings of Native Peoples with their non-Native buyers.

Iroquois Boot-Shaped Pin Cushion

Iroquois Boot-Shaped Pin Cushion, c.1900

With squirrel and duck motifs.

Nancy and Roger Prince (NTP 25)

Niagara Falls Bird-Shaped Novelty, c.1870

Nancy & Roger Prince (NTP 29)

Niagara Falls Bird-Shaped Novelty

Iroquois Picture Frame

Iroquois Picture Frame, c.1900

With Iroquois couple wedding photograph.

Nancy & Roger Prince (NTP 34)

Iroquois Double Match Holder, c.1900-1910

Nancy & Roger Prince (NTP 33)

Iroquois Double Match Holder

Iroquois Wall Pocket with Patriotic Motifs

Iroquois Wall Pocket with Patriotic Motifs, c.1890

This piece was probably made for the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

Nancy & Roger Prince (NTP 35)