With the colder and darker months upon us, some may get the urge to craft. The Potawatomi traditionally spent a lot of time inside, repairing household items as well as making clothing and and other items necessary for survival during the winter months when it was too cold for outdoor activities. Though they started out of necessity, elements of these activities continue today as a form of entertainment and a reason for social gatherings.
“During the early years in Indian Territory, we had to craft and undertake certain domestic tasks throughout the winter months to be able to survive,” said Dr. Kelli Mosteller, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center Director. “We would can foods, sew and repair clothing for winter and summer, and bake because it was necessary to stockpile household goods and food; there was rarely a market nearby to easily purchase these necessities.”
In the modern era, crafting is still based on long-practiced domestic skills, but now serves as a reason to gather as a tribal community and create craftwork for enjoyment or sale. Powwow dancers who are constantly competing in the summer use the winter months to perfect their regalia.
If you’re feeling the desire to craft in these winter months, the Firelake Gift Shop has something special for you to work on. Here is what we have available:
• Men’s Bandolier kit $35.00
• Moccasin Kit $57.00
• Beaded Purse Kit $24.95
• Beadwork Starter Kit $24.95
• Spirit Stick Kit $10.00
• Earring Beading Kit $22.95
• Gourd Rattle Kit $24.95
FireLake Gifts Online is your one stop shop for Native gifts, offering original works as well as limited prints by Native American artists, along with handmade jewelry and supplies for artisans working on their own projects. The storefront is located inside the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center at 1899 S. Gordon Cooper Dr. in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
FireLake Gifts store hours are, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-3p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is (405)-275-3119 and you can shop online at http://giftshop.potawatomi.org/.