Monday, July 18, 2022

Woman's Ribbon Skirt by James Blake

"I recently completed this Woman's Ribbon Skirt copied from an extant surviving example dating to the 18th century. The original was featured in the Clash of Empires exhibit ( French & Indian War traveling museum exhibit) curated by Scott Stephenson. This piece is held prisoner currently in Russia in the Museum of Peter the Great Kunstkamera. A modern reenacting anachronism or term applied to these skirts is wrap skirts as the piece was wrapped around the body and folded over a belt to hold in place. Many surviving examples of these old Ribbon Skirts are scattered throughout the globe. I for one am happy to see a resurgence of Native Women picking up this form of dress which is Indigenous form of strength and indigenization. A subtle form of rebellion and continued strength, screaming we are still here. This piece took me countless hours of hand stitching Silk Ribbon. It employs original 18th century glass beads and real Quahog Shell Wampum."

Copy and photography supplied by James Blake.

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