L.V. McWhorter's bead and bear claw necklace

Cultural Narrative: 

This necklace was assembled by L.V. McWhorter in the style of Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) jewelry. McWhorter most likely learned how to craft the necklace and which specific materials to use from Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) members he met. This specific necklace is made from bear claws and a variety of beads. Some of the beads appear to be trade beads made of glass in a variety of colors, including green, brownish/red, clear, and blue. The other beads appear to be made from natural materials, such as wood or bone, and are tan or brown in color. In size, this necklace is 50 cm in length. Evidence suggests this necklace was a ceremonial necklace, but it is undetermined which specific Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) ceremony it was intended to be worn. Though it is unknown when L.V. McWhorter originally made this necklace, it was most likely in the early 1900s after he moved to the state of Washington and met Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) members.

This bead and bear claw necklace is the necklace in the top of the picture and is cataloged as 1986.2.111. The beaded necklace below, also assembled by L.V. McWhorter, is cataloged as 1986.2.110.