University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The papoose
Vol. I. No. 2. (January, 1903)

Indian decorations in the home,   pp. 10-12


Page 10

Indian Decorations in the Home
FAD? Well, hardly, rather say a habit, a
microbe or some such thing that cannot
be put off at will, but grows and gathers
strength with each attack of the malady.
Indian Decoration has come to stay. Not
the cosy corner of papier mache heads and
hideous burned leather hides making a
nightmare of what should have been an artis-
tic nook in the home, but a well selected
collection of exquisitely woven basketry; dainty
bead work, weapons and curiously fashioned articles for
wear, quaintly decorated pottery, tediously woven blankets in
which the coloring is of native dye, and the yarns twisted
laboriously from wool clipped from sheep raised by the
squaws for that purpose. Can you estimate the interest
centered in such a corner to the seeker after information
relating to the original owners of this broad land of ours ?
The writer has passed a whole evening in the study of three
or four rare baskets and yet been unable to finish the
subject. What a wealth of romance ? What a fund of story
a basket may hold in the hands of one who has made
symbolism a study. That short zig-zag line may not mean
anything to the uninitiated, but to the student it tells of
many things. No, it is not a fad; it is a study. A study
of the art-life and expressions of a people we have known
so little of and cared so little about.  A people taught
by nature to use nature's own forms and materials in the
fashioning of wonderful articles for use and ornament.
Much has been said and written of late in praise of the
new field of home decoration, but few have so firmly touched
the key note as a writer in a recent magazine. The whole
article is worthy of reproduction but our space forbids.
"What must be sought in the decoration of a room ?
The eye must be pleased. There must be agreeable forms
tastily arranged, with due observance of proportion and
harmonious combination or contrast of colors. The mind,
the imagination, the memory, the sentiments, must all be
appealed to in the decorations and furnishings.  Every
picture tells a story, suggests a thought, arouses an emotion,
awakens a sentiment, stimulates a desire, evokes a question
-hence serves its purpose. The host or hostess delights in
pleasing the intelligent guest, for a house is made beautiful
not only for its immediate occupants, but also for its tran-
sient visitor and occasional guests.
Decorations and furnishings, also, are, in a measure,
indexes to the mind of their possessor. The parvenu shows


Go up to Top of Page