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Manidoominens -- Anishnaabemowin for "seed beads" means "little seed (-minens) that's a gift of the spirit (Manidoo), or Spirit Seeds. "Miinens" is the fruit of the hawthorn tree, miinensagaawunzh. Perhaps seed beads were named for this tree because its 5-lobed leaves reminded the women of hands. They may have learned from the Ursuline nuns -- who taught bead embroidery in the early 1700's -- that the hawthorn's thorny branches were used for Christ's crown of thorns, and so felt the tree was sacred to the Europeans, who brought seed beads, this gift of beauty and skill.
Its white or pink 5-petaled flower is actually the "daisy"motif, the first thing young girls learn to bead because it's easy and fast. See more about this tree,, cultural meanings, natural wildflowers in floral beading.

Manidoominens Menu

Honoring Mille Lacs Ojibwe elder, culture preserver, bead artist, MAUD KEGG -- DOWN. This was running on another server, which seems to have disappeared, and of course the developmental files were lost with my big hardware disaster. I expect to be getting a new scanner in about 2 weeks and will reconstruct it then.

EXTENSIVE GALLERY OF BEADWORK BANDOLIER BAGS -- high point of Woodland beadwork art; cultural meanings of bandoliers (Exhibit menu--currently 12 web pages, including detail photo pages)

Fancy contemporary powwow outfits, -- dancing beads of Indian identity

History, cultural values of beads -- general background, example illustrations

Wampum shell beads and treaty belts -- The first United Nations (1300 AD, Haudenosee League).


The Turquoise Road -- Anasazi civilization's growth and fall


Pueblo Bonito -- Chaco Canyon capital of the turquoise trade with Toltec Empire.


Anasazi Diaspora -- a Grandfather's story by Shonto Begay


Heishii and other shell beads -- trade from seacoasts into the high desert country

Hair Pipes in Plains Indian Adornment -- Essay with some illustrations by Smithsonian Institution expert of a type of beadwork common among Plains tribes and much seen today as powwow outfit breastplates and everyday chokers, though he discusses it as a dead art.

Beadwork and Spirituality -- the whole beads section is about that, I hope you can see this for yourself.

How seed beadwork is done -- methods, illustrations
Beadwork examples and info at other sites -- where to get beadwork supplies
Bibliography -- books on the craft methods, and on the history and art of Native beadwork
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Webmistress --Paula Giese. Text and graphics copyright 1995, 1996.

CREDITS: I did the "beadwork" group of fantasy-hawthorn flowers that starts this page. It's not based on a photo of actual beadwork, I did this (and some other beading used as titling for the Bandoliers exhibit) on the computer. It was very picky work, just like real beading, and it took almost as long to get it right. When I was satisfied, I found the pic file was too big to load completly (when on the server -- it was fine on my development system), so I had to keep compressing it down finally to 25% JPEG. It's lost some sharpness and sparkle thereby, though it still seems to look fairly 3D. I also "painted" the hawthorn flowers and fruits here.

Last Updated: 2/8/97