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Building Community Across Powwow Highway One Bead at a Time!

Posted By PowWows.com June 22nd, 2015 Last Updated on: June 22nd, 2015

Nature themes are a big factor in Angela La Londe's artwork!

Nature themes are a big factor in Angela La Londe's artwork!

Building a community through beading!

Building a community through beading!

 

by Dawn Karima, Native American Culture Editor

Okangan style beading!

Okangan style beading!

“Beading taught me to be caring, patient, and to love,” Angela La Londe smiles as her fingers deftly weave a DNA stitch.  “Beading was to spend time with family,” this stay-at-home-mom from the Okanagan in British Columbia continues, twisting thread into a tight necklace, “Aunts and grandmas would show us life lessons through beading. Get together to teach each other different ways of beading and learn patience.”

Angela La Londe carefully creates beadwork for folks all across Powwow Highway!

Angela La Londe carefully creates beadwork for folks all across Powwow Highway!

Along Powwow Highway, intricate beadwork makes a prominent statement about a dancer's category, style, tribe and spirituality.  Angela La Londe carefully chooses colors, stitches and patterns that infuse her art with power and passion.  She frequently makes beadwork that contains the symbols of Nature and Animals that reflect the importance of balancing beauty of Mother Earth with the beat of the powwow drum.   “My favorite style of beading is brick stitch,” she explains, “you may see a lot of it.” Angela La Londe refers to the appearance of Nature and Animal images in her work, saying, “My favorite beaded piece would be the wolf pattern I bought when I was in the USA on holiday years ago. I stayed with my Aunty. When I got back to my Aunty's for the night, I started the pattern and had to finish before I left.”

The completed set...regalia ready!!!

The completed set…regalia ready!!!

Powwows preserve a vital facet of Native life by building community. Now a popular presence in the beading community, Angela La Londe sees her beadwork in a similar light. Her art offers her an opportunity to meet new people, encourage the youth and interact with other Indigenous people.

“When I was little, I always loved to make new beaded jewelry,” recalls Angela La Londe happily, “As the years went by, I would bead on and off. After I had my first two child I started beading a lot more.” As she increased her skills and learned new techniques, she remembers that “I worked at a Treatment Centre and some of the clients gave me tips on beading. When I had my third child I became a stay at home mom and beading was my hobby. I sold some and gave lots away.”

Beading teaches lessons of love and patience!

Beading teaches lessons of love and patience!

Her generosity has been rewarded with the opportunity to teach beading to the next generation.
“When I bead my daughter watches me, asks me questions and sometimes I teach her to bead an earring, ring or necklace, she loves to learn,” this expert artist smiles, “When you're beading for the first time and not liking how it looks, I always say it's your first one and it looks awesome!” Handing down this precious part of her heritage clearly delights Angela La Londe as she says,  “We need to remember that beading is family bonding time, so all generations can carry it on.”

Building community one bead at a time!!!

Building community one bead at a time!!!

 

Carrying on the traditions matters so much to this artisan that she eagerly shares her skills with the world through social media. Her primary purpose is to inspire other Natives to include beading in their lives. Willingly offering help and support for beginning beaders, Angela La Londe also provides encouraging words and wisdom for emerging and established beaders all over the Powwow Trail. She understands how much beadwork matters to dancers and as part of regalia as she states, “When someone asks me on my beading page how to do something, I will try and help or send a link to a YouTube video. I share my patterns with others when asked unless its a pattern I bought off of etsy then I would send a link. I have many Facebook beading friends and we are always helping each other out with prices, tips and advice.”  “Now I have a beading page to show my beadwork and have giveaways now and then to give back to all my supporters on my page. I also set up a table at local craft fairs or events,” declares the artist.  Dedicated to building a beading community, “I created Angie's N8ive beading on Facebook to share my beadwork with everyone. I have lots of pictures of my beadwork on my page and try to keep it up to date. When you want to chat about beading ideas, share your own regalia creations or order you can send me a message on my page or my personal FB account of Angela La Londe,” she grins.

 

The completed set...regalia ready!!!

The completed set…regalia ready!!!

 

Her flexible fingers find the end of the necklace. Lovely and unique, this is the final step in creating a set that can be the finishing touch on a powwow outfit.  The patience that this artist set out to develop by beading has certainly paid off. Her beading is precise, but more importantly, her cultural and spiritual motives are stable and helpful. Beadwork has helped this artist to build a stronger Native community, in her own life and throughout the world.

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Angela

Hello everyone
My name is Angela La Londe if anyone has any questions feel free to message on Facebook personal page or my beadwork page or email [email protected]
Thank you 🙂
I feel really honored to have my write up on this site <3

Cheyenne Johnson

I have some general beading questions and would like to know where you learned the brick stitch. I have been doing the DNS spiral stitch for years and would like to branch out. I am also a Native American from the kawaiisu tribe in ca.

Angela

Add me on Facebook or email me and I can send you links 🙂

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