Sown Seed Bead
Sown Seed Bead
My name is Aurianna, Auri for short. I’m 26 years old, and my pronouns are she or they. I grew up in Oklahoma, but I live in PDX now. My tribal affiliations are complicated to say the least. There are so many different tribes in my immediate family: Creek, Comanche, Cherokee, Osage to name a few. As a child I was enrolled with the Comanche tribe, but I lost my enrollment when I turned 18 because of blood quantum. This fact often makes me feel lost, and gives me intense anxiety about even claiming the word indigenous, as I don’t want to group such a beautiful and immense people into a homogenous identity. The fact of the matter is that colonization has dispossessed my family of a lot of our cultural ties. For instance, my grandpa on my dad’s side (Creek/Cherokee) attended a residential school in Shawnee, OK. This is a heartbreaking reality, and true for many of my friends on here, but beading is a way for me to get back some of what I’ve lost. My dad taught me how to bead when I was 14 or 15 at the First Nations Educational & Cultural Center at Indiana University where he works. As an adult my friend Natasha invited me to a native beading circle at a prison in Portland which rekindled my love for the craft. Both of these experiences were communal and an act of reclamation. Like most traditional Indigenous practices, beading has been touched by colonization (i.e. using glass seed beads as opposed to hand carved bone, shell, quills, etc). Despite this, beading has become an act of indigenous resistance. It’s creative, meditative, grounding, and healing. It fosters community, even on Instagram.
My intentions with this lil bead shop are never to capitalize off of my identity. I hope you buy my artwork because you like it, and not just to give an indigenous person your money or to assuage your guilt. If that’s the intention then please consider donating to Stop Line 3 efforts or any of the thousands of other indigenous folks fighting for this land. This is not to say that when buying beadwork you shouldn’t look to purchase from indigenous artists, you absolutely should! I wish I could gift my beadwork all of the time, that money didn’t have to be involved at all. This isn’t the reality, but I dream of it.