Troy Brave Heart, an Oglala Lakota, has only been doing quillwork for a year but in that time has perfected his craft to produce flawlessly beautiful quillwork. Find out why Troy considers Natives, who wear beautiful quillwork, rebels who refuse to submit to the dominate culture by pride.
NATIVE MAX: Where are you from?
TROY BRAVE HEART: My name is Troy Brave Heart and I am from Rapid City, South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
NM: How long have you been doing quillwork?
TB: I started doing quillwork in October of 2012.
NM: What inspired you to do quillwork?
TB: It is something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do so I finally decided I was going to invest the time and effort to learn.
NM: How did you learn how to do quillwork?
TB: I am for the most part self taught however, my aunt Elaine Lamere showed me some tips and tricks that I didn’t know which was very instrumental for me.
NM: Why do you think the trend of guys and girls wearing quillwork-jewelry and accessories with their everyday looks instead of the typical silver or gold jewelry is growing popular?
TB: I believe that the trend of both women and men wearing quillwork daily is growing because of pride. As Native people in 2013, we don’t have to submit to the dominate culture. We have our own culture that our grandparents went to great lengths to preserve for us to have it today. I think that people are proud to represent and showcase our beautiful culture and art.
NM: What is your contact info for anyone interested in a personalized design?
TB: For anyone interested in contacting me, I can be found on Facebook by searching my name (Troy Brave Heart) or, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[This story was originally published in Native Max Magazine‘s Anniversary Issue.]