Many weeks of expert needlepoint work was required to create this outfit. The waist of the skirt measures 22" and the length is 28 1/2". For the top, the kneck opening is 18", the chest size is 24", the length from shoulder to bottom is 15 1/2".
Apprenticeship to become a master artist is a five year commitment. Usually embroidery, beading and weaving are learned together. Vows are made that must be fulfilled to complete the commitment. Single women must abstain from sex, and married women must abstain from extramarital sex for the entire duration. Guidance from the gods must be sought in dreams. A shaman must supervise the apprenticeship. He or she will give instructions concerning which gods, or helper spirits to rely on. Ceremonies and pilgrimages must be attended. The required offerings must be made - miniature looms and miniature weavings, as well as prayer arrows, beeswax candles, beaded gourd bowls, and the blood of sacrificed animals are left when asking for help and guidance. Plant allies such as peyote will be chosen as spirit guides. Animal allies (particularly reptiles) are also sought to help increase health, knowledge, ability and personal power. Finally the weaver must sponsor a ceremony that marks the completion of her initiation. If someone doesn't complete her apprenticeship, she may get sick, or her family may suffer. Spiritual experience and expression are not separate from acquiring and expressing technical competence.