Pearl Colombe - Lakota beadwork, quillwork and star quilting

Master: Pearle Colombe, Lower Brule
Linda Nelson, Sioux Falls
Elaine Kennedy, Pierre
Art Form: Lakota beadwork, quillwork and star quilting

Pearl Colombe works hard to maintain and pass on many of the traditions of the Lakota people at Lower Brule, from preparing dried shredded beef and dried corn, to stripping deer sinew for sewing, to cleaning and dying quills to use in making pipe bags. She teaches for the local Boys & Girls Club to make sure that young children are exposed to their heritage. Her apprentices were her niece Linda Nelson from Sioux Falls, an experienced beadworker who wanted to learn quillwork, and her daughter Elaine Kennedy from Pierre, who made a star quilt.

Beadwork turtle by Pearl Colombe, beaded with white, black, red, and blue beads.

Beadwork turtle by Pearl Colombe, with rawhide medicine wheels in the background, ready to be covered in quillwork.

Jars and bowls of clean and dyed quills. One large jar contains red quills.

Pearl Colombe prepares, cleans and dyes thousands of quills before starting a project.