The hunter's star quilt pattern originated from the Native American Lakota Sioux Indian tribes that lived and hunted all over the Rocky Mountain ranges. The star pattern of the quilt represents the morning star, a significant symbol in Lakota Sioux beliefs.
The Lakota Sioux Indians had a spiritual belief in Venus, one of the brightest objects in the sky, giving it the appearance of a star. According to Lakota Sioux beliefs, Venus symbolized immortality and was their guiding star. It signified the direction from which spirits traveled to earth.
Missionaries, mostly the wives of the government officials stationed on the reservations, introduced quilting to Native American women in the 1800s. Thereafter, star quilts began to replace the traditional red buffalo robes in ceremonial and religious festivals. Star quilts are used for various occasions, such as altar clothes in churches or banners at special functions. The quilts are also given as gifts to honor friends, family, deceased loved ones and newlyweds and to celebrate the birth of a child.
Selling star quilts has become a significant source of income for Native American women. By selling the quilts to collectors and tourist, the women can supplement their income, enabling them to better provide for their families.