Logo Peyote History
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Peyote stitch is probably one of the most controversial of beading stitches. Some of the Native American stitch techniques are much more complex and difficult to master than the stitch most of us use today. This stitch is also identified as Gourd Stitch. Beadwork Magazine, Feb/Mar 2000 issue, page 58, covers this issue.

Native Americans have been the most giving, sharing people throughout our more contemporary beading history. Their sharing of techniques is one of the reasons for the resurgence of beading today. One of the first in-depth beadwork books was published by The Museum of The American Indian Heye Foundation in 1975 and written by William C. Orchard. Beads and Beadwork of the American Indian. Whispering Wind Magazine, Crafts American Indian: Past & Present, Annual #3, 1990, has extensive information and illustrations on peyote stitch plus an illuminating introduction by Richard Past.

We do not know when this stitch was first created by Native Americans, just as we do not know when Africans discovered the stitch. Established trade routes in ancient times made it possible for beading and stitchery techniques to pass from one group of people to another and variations of the stitch evolve. On the other hand, Native Americans as well as Africans may have discovered this stitch individually. If you take beads, thread and a needle and play with them enough, you will come up with the same stitches another person discovered on their own. Such is history, it repeats itself.

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