Leith Mahkewa

  • Oneida
  • Hopi
  • Beadwork / Quillwork

Leith Mahkewa is an Oneida/Hopi beadworker who currently lives in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake. Much of her creative inspiration comes from her commitment to teaching her children the importance of the Kanien'keha language and Haudenosaunee culture. It is through this commitment that you see how Mohawk styled raised beadwork has influenced her artwork. Her work tends to be very utilitarian in form and her designs incorporate many florals, drawing from nature and Haudenosaunee cultural when possible is very important to Leith.

Leith believes that beadwork transcends the generations, the idea that a previous generations' innovations become the next generations' springboard, without one there would not be another. With this in mind, Leith sees the continuation of this art form resting solely at the hands of the beaders of today. Leith feels that it is partly her responsibility to inspire and teach future beaders.

Over the past 10 years Leith's beadwork skills have evolved largely in part by attention to detail and her industriousness, which she says comes from her maternal grandmother. Currently Leith is working on a variety of beaded art pieces that honor her father's family of Hopi pottery artists. She is hopeful that these will be done for the market.

Sample of Work

At the Water's Edge

At the Water's Edge

Yoke 1/2inches x 17inches x 20inches, Purse 9 1/2inches x 8inches x 1/2inches with 60 inches ribbon strap , Cuffs 6inches x 8 inches x 1/2inches

Beadwork / Quillwork

Sustainability

Sustainability

3 inches x 8 inches x 7 inches

Beadwork / Quillwork

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

3 1/2 inches x 5 inches

Beadwork / Quillwork