Julie Perkins

Julie Perkins’ (Cherokee) passion for textile art grew from watching her family sew as a child. Her love for beadwork took hold at age 12 when she noticed a friend’s mother doing loom work, decided to create her own and became hooked. Perkins’ affinity for researching different types and styles of beadwork paid off her senior year when she was introduced to beading pictures. Later, while working at the Cherokee National History Museum, she began to incorporate weaving ribbons into some of her projects. She now weaves traditional basket patterns in ribbon on skirts, shirts and bags that are distinctly Cherokee.

Double Headed Woodpecker

The symbol of the double-sided woodpecker is featured on this skirt. Embroidered above rows of red, black, and white ribbon applique, these birds represent the meaning adopted by Cherokee Language Master/Apprentice Language Program. It exemplifies that if there is no student, then there is no teacher and vice versa.

Buffalo Skirt

With buffalo machine embroidered on cotton above a nine-ribbon fire-colored applique, this skirt honors the history and importance of this animal to North American Indigenous peoples.

Copper Skirt

This skirt combines a traditional look with copper, used for jewelry by Cherokee people, to create a look reminiscent of trade-era wrap skirts.

Black on Black

This formal skirt bases its design on the idea that “in the shadows, we remain.” Combining black ribbon applique and Cherokee basket patterns, it inspires the wearer to “step out of the shadows.”

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