Seminole Indian Patchwork

Feb 10, 2016

We explore Seminole Indian Patchwork. The Seminole Tribe of Florida adopted the colorful clothing shortly before 1920.

Designs used on women’s skirts today are extremely intricate. It’s a technique that has been passed down from generation to generation and now there’s a commercial market for it.

Seminole patchwork is a creative source of cultural pride and artistic achievement.

Our guests are several women who make, teach, wear and show Seminole patchwork.

Seminole Naples Artist and 2008 FGCU grad Jessica Osceola draws proudly on tribal traditions. Halfway toward her MFA at the Academy of Art, San Francisco, she's exhibited around the country and at Art Basel. She makes her own patchwork skirts, and has saved dresses from her own girlhood.
Credit Will O’Leary

Jessica Osceola is an FGCU graduate from Naples who uses patchwork in her art and recently co-curated a show on patchwork at the Seminole Tribe of Florida AH-THA-TIH-KI Museum.

The Miss Florida Seminole Princess Pageant on July, 25, 2015 in Hollywood, Fla.
Credit Will O’Leary

Wanda Bowers runs the annual Miss Florida Seminole Princess Pageant. The pageant is aimed at preserving traditional culture. 

Ashley Cypress’s business is called “AlleyKatKreations”. You can find her on Instagram.
Credit Will O’Leary

Ashley Cypress a seamstress on the Miccosukee reservation in Collier County who teaches the craft in her home. 

Jacki Lyden put this all together for us because the longtime NPR reporter and host is now producing a fashion podcast and NPR series called The Seams. Seminole Indian patchwork has been the topic of two recent stories and three upcoming stories.

In this installment of Treasures from the Vault (below), Greg Palumbo shows us some patchwork pieces from the Ah-tah-thi-ki Museum collection.