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Leslie Bitsie Jr.

Tobacco Bag With Sacred Items Pouch

Navajo Nation

CAT W 908

Navajo beadwork is rooted in tribal religious practices, in its background teachings, and in personal and Navajo paraphernalia adornment. My artistic process begins with my foundation in my upbringing: Christian Reformed Church, Native American Church, and Navajo Sing Ways. I then incorporate a vast array of traditional European glass beads, native and commercial processed animal hides (deer, elk, bison, cow), genuine gemstones, rhinestones, various beading, sewing (hand/machine), and embroidery techniques (lane, appliqué flat, peyote gourd/netting, rolled, edging, loom, and hand fringing); along with color combinations from nature and ceremonies, and critical thinking skills all into a specific article of work. The final beaded product conveys a purpose, a meaning, and a hope for bringing beauty and goodness into the world. These multiple facets together generate forms of brilliance so that the unique Navajo beadwork creativity could be fully continued and appreciated.