Leslie Bitsie Jr.

  • Navajo
  • Diverse Arts
  • Beadwork / Quillwork

I come from a long line of artists. As a child, I saw my mother bead and make items for prayer and self-adornment. I saw her weave Navajo rugs for a living. Both my grandmothers and great-grandmothers wove Navajo blankets and rugs. My only uncle painted and decorated Native American Church prayer items. My father and grandfathers were cowboys, horsemen, cattlemen, and sheep men. Hard work, passion, simplicity, and usefulness influence my work.

I bead to help bring something good and beautiful into people’s experience. Beaded items are visually fascinating and are helpful in many ways. For a very long time, beads were part of Navajo life ways and continue today. Beads helped us in prayer and prayer-songs. It was one aspect of many that made us beautiful. When I was twelve, my grandma gave me two hanks of seed beads, white and light blue, important colors to the Navajo. She said in Navajo: “here, grandson, learn and create something very good. Use it. Some day it will help you.”

That day is today. In Navajo, we have a philosophy: “learn to know how to live, to know how to do, and to make.” I hope to convey this teaching through my beaded art. Enjoy your Santa Fe Virtual Indian Market 2020 visits and have a wonderful day!

Sample of Work

Navajo Medicine Man Saddle Bag

Navajo Medicine Man Saddle Bag

46.5”L x 10”W

Diverse Arts

Navajo Native American Church cedar bag with prayer pouch

Navajo Native American Church cedar bag with prayer pouch

34”L x 8”W; Small pouch: 10”L x 3.75”W

Diverse Arts

Navajo cloth doll pair

Navajo cloth doll pair

16” tall x 5.5”W at shoulders

Diverse Arts

Beaded XL Bracelet with matching post earrings

Beaded XL Bracelet with matching post earrings

bracelet 2.5”H x 8.25”L + 1”gap; post earrings 2” diameter

Beadwork / Quillwork

Beaded Ladies Jewelry Set (bracelet, adjustable ring, necklace with pendant, earrings)

Beaded Ladies Jewelry Set (bracelet, adjustable ring, necklace with pendant, earrings)

Bracelet: 7” beaded circumference + 1” gap; 2.5”H, Ring: 2”H x 1.75”W, Earrings: 2”H x 1.5”W, Necklace: 27”L end-to-end, 5/16”W, Pendant: 3.25” drop, 2.75”W

Beadwork / Quillwork

Navajo purse with corn pollen prayer pouch

Navajo purse with corn pollen prayer pouch

Purse: 11”W x 8”H; 10” zipper; handle 29.5”L; Pouch: 2.5”W x 7.5”L

Beadwork / Quillwork