Leslie Bitsie Jr.
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.