Porcupine quills were used by people of the Great Lakes area as decorating materials long before the introduction of seed beads by the European traders. This seemed to be true where ever this animal was found in the wooded areas of the northern continent.
Quills were dyed colors with natural dyes, used in their round state, or flattened and used as a platting material. The most renowned decorative use of quills in the Great Lakes area was and continues to be on birch bark baskets.
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