Seminole Indian Bookends

21 Jan

These are rare bookends depicting a seated Seminole Indian Woman of the 1920s, apparently sewing or stringing beads.  The sculptor was S. Plasikowski.  The casting company is not known.  Seminole Bookends are listed in both the 1934 & 1954 Catalogs of Copyright Entries for Works of Art  as the work of Serena Plasikowski Denslow.

Photo of Seminole Indian Bookends

Seminole Indian Bookends. 4.5 inches in height. Gray Metal.

Photo of Seminole Bookends Legend

Paper Legend on base of Seminole Bookends

The Seminole Indians in Florida are not the original prehistoric group of Indians from that region.  The Seminoles originated from a mix of local Indians, immigrant Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, and runaway black slaves, and received their name in the 1770s.  As early as 1880 the Seminoles obtained hand-operated sewing machines and used them to make their own clothing, utilizing a series of multi-colored strips of cloth to create both a ruffled blouse and a long ruffled skirt.

Photo of Postcard showing Seminole Indian Women

Postcard of Seminole Indian Women in Traditional Garb at Tropical Hobbyland, Miami, FL

This fashion of contrasting colors was begun prior to 1920, according to David M. Blackard in his book, PATCHWORK & PALMETTOS, Seminole-Miccosukee Folk Art Since 1820, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, 1990.  The form evolved into the now familiar characteristic patchwork of blocks or bars of alternating colors and incorporating a sawtooth design through the 1920s and 30s.   Today we see patchwork with rickrack clothing on the handicrafted dolls sold in Florida as souvenirs.

Seminole Indian Souvenirs

Seminole Crafts. Sweetgrass basket with palmetto doll head. Palmetto Doll with ruffled cape and skirt


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