Beads and viruses go hand-in-hand; new diseases and goods that traders brought to the Americas. Trading is a series of 12 images of viruses brought by the Europeans and new disease that was brought back to Europe. The new diseases consisted of influenza, bubonic plague, measles, smallpox, typhus, cholera, scarlet fever, diphtheria, chicken pox, yellow fever and whooping cough. The disease that was taken back to
Europe was syphilis; this image is in quillwork.
Beads are a visual reference to colonization; valuable furs were traded for inexpensive beads. On the plains beads were a valuable trade item, they replaced the method of using porcupine quills. Preparing the quills for decorating clothing was a long process that consisted of sorting the quills, preparing vegetal dyes and flattening the quill to sew down in patterns. Obviously beads were quicker to use, covered large areas and came in a wide variety of colours.
Trading examines both sides of European trade. Trade brought new items that revolutionized Native life. The iron pot made boiling food easier to digest, new trapping methods and the introduction of the horse: are only a few. The downside was the decimation of many tribes through disease. Diseases quickly spread, arriving even before Europeans.