I finally decided to choose and order the beads for my project, I actually departed from both pre contact and post contact, I decided to make this dress as a tribute to my heritage and my backround.
I was a real rock hound growing up on the beaches of Lake Superior and I collected all of the following types of stones.
The beads are Canadian Green Jasper, Moss Green Jasper and Moss Agate. These stones combine to give a look and feel of the Big Lake and would have been collected and used for ornamentation by my distant relatives.
I also found some great pipe stone, (catlinite), beads on the web and have ordered 4 pounds of dentalium shells, so I'm just about ready to launch into this project, as soon as my back injury allows me to stand on my feet for more than a few minutes at a time.
I know using tumbled stones as beads departs from being entirely pre contact, but I know if I lived on the Lake a couple hundred years ago and the stones were available, I would have used them.