News, St. Cloud State, Top Stories — March 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Beading Circle revisits ancient tradition

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Beading has been important to American Indians for centuries and it continues today.

Hand-made American Indian beading is a tradition held close to the heart by many people. The tradition of beading is preserved by people passing the technique down from generation to generation.

The university’s American Indian center (AIC) created a Beading Circle in order to keep this tradition alive. American Indian studies Professor -Jeanne Lacourt- and American Indian Center employee -Sheryl Garcia- organized a beading class as a way to learn more about American Indian culture.

A Beading Circle is where people gather together to work on the different types of American Indian beadwork. Right now students are working on buckskin pouches.

These buckskin pouches are also known as medicine pouches, but not at this Beading Circle. The students wanted to refer to their pouches as buckskin pouches and not medicine pouches to avoid stereotypes.

American Indian students make up a majority of the group, but the creators of the Beading Circle hope more students become involved because it’s open to everybody.

You might be thinking that you’re not going to be able to bead like this, but you’re wrong! Some of these students in the video above are first-time learners.
Regardless of it being some of the student’s first times ever crafting the art of beading, their creations are beautiful.

Beautiful designs, colors and technique make for unique bead work. The gatherings are a lot more than learning the basics of beading; it’s also meant for students to have fun and make friends.

Last year the students beaded hand-made barrettes and key chains and each semester they work on something new. You can bead anything. For example, you can bead any type of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

The Beading Circle gathers every Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the ethnic studies department. If your interested in learning more about the Beading Circle contact one of the creators who are Lacourt and Garcia.

A culture often misunderstood around the world, United States and locally, the American Indian culture must be brought to light. The AIC is dedicated to educating about the more than 600 tribes in the U.S. This April 8-13, 2012 is American Indian awareness week.

American Indian student Maricia Varela beads her buckskin pouch.

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