Paperback / softback
May 11, 2009
164 illus., 104 in color
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1.3 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Uncommon Threads

Wabanaki Textiles, Clothing, and Costume

Uncommon Threads celebrates the textile arts of the Wabanakis, the indigenous people living between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Gulf of Maine. Known geographically as the Maritime Peninsula, the region falls in both the United States and Canada. For millennia, textiles have played a vital role as Native communities have expressed and maintained their identity. This large and distinctive body of Wabanaki artifacts challenges stereotypes about Native textiles and clothing that are based on more familiar styles from better known regions of North America.

For Wabanakis, textiles have long been a rich and important medium. They record how, beginning in the seventeenth century, an indigenous people coped with a rapidly expanding alien culture that surrounded them. The Wabanakis defined their view of this new world through their clothing and costume. For all cultures, important occasions and life events demand special clothes that communicate messages to the viewer. By examining Wabanaki costume, including specific styles and decorative ornament, one can find information that illuminates the history of the Wabanakis, their means of communication, and the ways they coped with a rapidly changing world.

About the Authors

Bruce J. Bourque and Laureen A. LaBar are curators at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.


"Bourque and LaBar make excellent use of both the visual and the written record . . . the diversity of objects collected for the exhibit is marvelous . . . Anyone with an interest in Native American textiles or the material culture of the North American fur trade will be well served by this book."—Timothy J. Shannon, Winterthur Portfolio, Winter 2011

"As a museum anthropologist, a student of Eastern Woodlands ethnology, and a textile artist, I found Bourque and LaBar's book absolutely fascinating. Beautifully illustrated, their work provides an important contribution to the study of the material culture of the Eastern Woodlands' Native peoples."—Rhonda S. Fair, Museum Anthropology Review, Spring-Fall 2011

"In a remarkable display of indigenous textile technology and textile arts, Uncommon Threads shows how Native peoples of the Maritime Peninsula blended tradition and innovation to create enduring expressions of Wabanaki identity in a rapidly changing world."—Colin G. Calloway, Dartmouth College

University of Washington Press

9780295988702 : uncommon-threads-bourque-bar
Paperback / softback
192 Pages
$45.00 USD

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