Jewelry Bracelet


Some of the earliest indigenous bead works pre-dates European contact and has been practiced for centuries. The skill of beading has been passed down from generation to generation and has evolved throughout the years from technique to the materials used. Beads were created from materials in nature and was dependent on the abundance of resources found where they lived.

Unlike the glass seed beads that we are familiar with today, the early Indigenous people would make beads from stones, shells, coral, bone, and turquoise. The use of soapstone and steatite was used amongst the late woodland tribes ranging from 1200 to 400 years ago, the colour of these beads ranged from light pink-beige to grey-brown, to black, beads made from hematite or siltstone were red in colour.

The beads were sewn together with leather and were sewn to clothing or were sewn together as jewelry. The bead work of the many tribes across North America was unique and as such the style of beadworks was an indicator of which tribes indigenous people came from, the chokers and bracelets that men and women wore identified the status or status of wealth they held in their tribe.

In the southwest tribes of North America beadworks made of turquoise was highly sought out later with the economic advances of trading with European newcomers. Many of the Indigenous people that travelled distances for trading were fully adorned with the beadwork jewelry and clothing as this was a form of keeping their goods to trade close and safe. The business of trading with Europeans brought forth new styles, colours and materials of beads that we see today.

Assembly Instructions


1. Starting at the top of one end of the leather piece, thread the leather lace through the first hole, add two beads and move on to the next hole, the two beads should be secured in place, repeat this step adding beads to each section.

2. Once all the holes have been laced through and beads have been added, you can tie off on both ends.

Note: The bracelet will have two rows of holes to weave and bead and the choker will have only one row.


Curriculum Outcome

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