It’s a craft, a symbol, a piece of jewelry. Native American friendship bracelets, which originated from traditional Native American crafts and were given as signs of friendship, remain a popular item today. These colorful bracelets are viewed as a sign of devotion because the giver creates it with a specific friend in mind.
Meaning and History of Native American Friendship Bracelets
Native friendship bracelets originate from traditional patterns of hand weaving and knot craft. These colorful bracelets are woven or braided with different colors of embroidery thread or other materials. There are various styles and patterns of Native American friendship bracelets, and most are based on a half-stiched knot. The many patterns include broken ladder, chevron, diamond, and a totem pole.
It is said that whoever receives Native friendship bracelets should wear them until the threads break and the bracelet falls off. Wearing the bracelet honors the hard work put into making it, while removing it indicates that the friendship has gone bad. According to Native American culture, someone who receives a bracelet should make a wish, which will come true if Native American friendship bracelets fall off naturally.
Native American Friendship Bracelets in Popular Culture
Native American friendship bracelets saw a resurgence of popularity among 1970s teens, when wearing these items was in style. They remain popular among children today.
Creating Native friendship bracelets is a fun and creative activity that results in a one-of-a-kind gift for a valued friend. Color options and additions such as beads and feathers make for a memorable keepsake.
It is said that colors used in Native American friendship bracelets reflect personality traits of the wearer. For example, red signifies honesty, black is for strength, blue is for loyalty. In this way, the Native American friendship bracelet is said to mirror the wearer.
Making Native American Friendship Bracelets
Native friendship bracelets can be made in various shapes and sizes, although the length will generally run from 7 to 9 inches. They can be created slim, or as thick as a cuff. There are many books and instructional materials available to help people create their own Native American friendship bracelets.
Simple braids or twists are best for younger children. Craft kits are also available for children or adults. Native friendship bracelets can also be created with yarn and beads by using a crochet hook. Making Native American friendship bracelets is a fun and meaningful activity that can strengthen the bonds of friendship.