A detail of a bikini by Ike Hopper, Onondaga.

A Tour of 'Buckskin to Bikinis' Exhibit at the Iroquois Museum


The Iroquois Indian Museum, located in Howes Cave, NY, recently opened its latest exhibition, "Buckskin to Bikinis: Haudenosaunee Wearable Art," a showcase for fashion designers whose Iroquois heritage is integal to their creations.

Dr. Jessica Metcalfe touched on some highlights in a post about the exhibit on her Beyond Buckskin blog: "Bikinis with Iroquois pottery patterns, a cocktail dress emblazoned with the Sky Dome symbol, a beaded turtle medallion, and a coat that tells a creation story."

Metcalfe served as a consultant for the show, as did Elizabeth Doxtater and Felicia Nicosia-Ramirez, and was a guest speaker at the April 4 opening. "This exhibit isn't just about the clothes," Metcalfe writes. "It's about the meaning behind the clothes, and appreciating wearable art. The body is the canvas where multi-dimensional stories become tactile and are visualized. This process is an ancient one, and contemporary designers are critical bridges from the well-documented 'traditional' clothing from centuries-past, to the clothing yet to be produced by future generations."

Here's a video, prepared by Metcalfe, that gives a brief look at some of the stunning garments on display. The exhibit runs through November 30 (for more information, contact the museum via [email protected] or 518-296-8949).

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