The art of beading takes many years to master, especially when you are using tiny glass seed beads. The American Indians have been making beaded jewelry for centuries. When the Europeans arrived to this continent the people were using hand made beads, bones, hides and furs to make their jewelry. This took days for them to create such amazing trinkets, many long hours were spent around a winters comforting fire listening to storytellers just to make one piece of adornment.
The European traders brought glass beads with them and it wasn’t long before the Native People sought these items for trade. With the advent of glass beads introduced to the Native People the art of beading took on great meaning. They began designing amazing items that were highly sought after from the new people of the foreign lands. Today in America the art of beading has become big business for many beaders and although there are some truly amazing crafters out there the old style of beading American Indian crafts are still held by the elders of a vanishing culture.
So with that in mind, lets not let some of the ‘Old Ways’ pass. Help support the traditionalist of American Indian Beading and the artist that create it. Some of the old style of beading includes the Peyote Stitch, Brick Stitch, and Applique Stitch (for adding beads to leather or cloth). My hats off to all of those artists that continue the craft and up hold the old techniques. When ever possible try to support any local Artist, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. OK then with that I will add a few of my designs here, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them! 😀
I am a descendant of the North American Blackfoot Indian Nation and as such, have connected with my heritage to create a variety of native inspired beaded jewelry and leather works over the years.
I am a Blackfoot Indian Medicine Woman, I teach and council on plant medicine and animal medicine. I am also a writer and storyteller. In the old days of my people and most other American Indian people there was not a written language so history and legends were passed down to the generations by the way of story telling.
Most of my jewelry pieces are animals. The people have always been connected to the animal kingdom for many different reasons, outside of the obvious with the animals being a food source, they also viewed them as great teachers. Many of the stories depict animals in different roles and it shows just how important they were in their day to day lives.