Featured Artist Katrina Mitten

Enjoy the exquisite beadwork of Native American artist Katrina Mitten. Find out more about her work by visiting her website.

 

 

My name is Katrina Mitten. I am a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. As a little girl, I was taught the importance of knowing who I am and where I came from. At the age of twelve, I wanted to learn an art that was traditional to my people. I was drawn to beadwork.

 

 

My people were removed from our homelands to reservations that was then called Indian Territory, what we now call Oklahoma. My family, along with four others, were alloted lands in Indiana and allowed to stay. Due to this removal, the small numbers allowed to stay in Indiana and the forced assimilation, our traditional arts suffered.

 

 

As a young girl, I was unable to find someone to teach me the techniques of Great Lakes style beadwork embroidery. I set out on my own to discover teachers and I found them in the beadworkers of the past. Through looking at family pieces, items in museums and diligence to learn this art form, I have arrived almost 40 years later.

 


My work is traditional in technique and in some of my pieces, traditional in design. I have created dance clothing for my children, cradleboards, bandoleer bags and tobacco bags.

 

I also create my own designs for jewelry and other items using those same beading techniques. The jewelry I create is wearable for today. I am known to bead items that are unusual. It has been said if it stays still long enough, I will bead it.

 

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