Many tribes have artists who make beaded buckles. Most of these are created by sewing buckskin, or another type of leather, over a brass buckle and then sewing the glass beads to the leather.
They are attractive, incredibly inexpensive for the amount of work they require, wear well and are very popular among Native people. Unfortunately, today it is really had to tell what the tribal origin is of the buckles and designs. Patterns are constantly shared. They are popular from the Navajo Reservation to the Ute tribes of Colorado to the Shoshone of Idaho to the Plains Indians of the Dakotas.
At tribal gatherings around the west, pow-wows and celebrations, there are booths from all over the county with artists selling beadwork and buckles are a popular item.
Originally, beadwork was done by Native tribes using shells and quills, but as the Mountain Men and the traders came west, the glass beads from Europe were very popular trade items.
A few people can look at beaded work and telling you what tribe it came from. Beadwork has been a traditional Native art form in North America for hundreds of years, and for most people, it is hard to be absolutely sure of the origin. There has never been a comprehensive book written on the art form, which tells you how hard it is to follow its changes through the centuries.
We don’t carry a lot of beadwork, but the buckles have always been popular, especially with Native customers and they are one of my personal favorites!