Date: ca. 1989
Materials: Leather & glass
This object is a necklace made by Lucille Alexander. This necklace has a brown woven cord with a circular medallion fastened to it. The medallion is bead-covered leather with a design of a black and white abstract bird on a red background, currently used as the logo for the Alabama-Coushatta tribe. The beading on this medallion was done in the “double needle applique” technique, sometimes referred to as “spot stitch.”
The following video illustrates how this type of stitching is used to bead rosettes using contemporary materials.
Lucille Alexander, the artist who made this necklace, was a member of the Alabama-Coushatta tribe. The Alabama and Coushatta were originally two separate tribes that both lived near Montgomery, Alabama. In 1763, both tribes began to migrate west because of settlers encroaching on their land. They both eventually settled in Texas, the Alabama on the Neches River and the Coushatta on the Trinity River. Both tribes participated in the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.
Over three hundred Alabama and Coushatta men fought at the battles of Salado and San Antonio with Samuel Kemper’s Republican Army. When Texas became a Republic, President Lamar set aside land for both tribes, however, it was not until six years later that the Alabama Indians received their reservation. Fourteen years after the Alabama tribe moved onto their reservation, the Coushatta tribe joined them and shared the reservation land. The tribes were effectively joined in 1918 when they were federally recognized. The reservation is located seventeen miles east of Livingston, Texas. [Amber Beck, edited by Kathryn S. McCloud]