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Seminole Indian Patchwork

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.

Credit Will O’Leary
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.

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.

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

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

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

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.


Amy Tardif is WGCU’s FM Station Manager and News Director. She oversees a staff of 10 full and part-time people and interns in news, production and the radio reading service. Her program Lucia's Letter on human trafficking received a coveted Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a gold medal from the New York Festivals and 1st place for Best Documentary from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. She was the first woman in radio to Chair RTDNA, having previously served as Chair-Elect and the Region 13 representative on its Board of Directors for which she helped write an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication. She also serves on the FPBS Board of Directors and served on the PRNDI Board of Directors from 2007 -2012. Tardif has been selected twice to serve as a managing editor for NPR's Next Generation Radio Project. She served on the Editorial Integrity for Public Media Project helping to write the section on employee's activities beyond their public media work. She was the producer and host of Gulf Coast Live Arts Edition for 8 years and spent 14 years as WGCU’s local host of NPR's Morning Edition. Amy spent five years as producer and managing editor of WGCU-TV’s former monthly environmental documentary programs In Focus on the Environment and Earth Edition. Prior to joining WGCU Public Media in 1993, she was the spokesperson for the Fort Myers Police Department, spent 6 years reporting and anchoring for television stations in Fort Myers and Austin, Minnesota and reported for WUSF Public Radio in Tampa. Amy has two sons in college and loves fencing, performing in local theater and horseback riding.