Kanien'kehá:ka Beading Today

The significance of glass beading has evolved over time but it is still a very important part of Kanien'kehá:ka culture. Women still make beaded clothing today designed to be worn on special occasions (pow-wows, graduations and weddings). The varied styles range from traditional motifs to the innovative and resolutely modern. The Kanien'kehá:ka are anxious to reassert their Aboriginal identity and usually wear beaded jewellery as well as other beaded accessories. Whether bead work expert or novice, the Kanien'kehá:ka take their inspiration from old beaded objects preserved in museum collections like the McCord's to renew some of the technical and aesthetic aspects of this art form. Beading remains today, as it has always been, one of the favourite forms of cultural expression of the Kanien'kehá:ka and an integral part of their daily life.
The McCord Museum of Canadian History

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