On view at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site, the Stitched in Sovereignty artworks convey visual stories of the ways Native peoples maintain control of their cultures, social and governing systems, knowledge systems, and relationships with sovereign groups.
These artists express these concepts in the materials and processes of beadwork, a medium that has a long tradition in Indigenous North America and continues to evolve today.
Indigenous beadwork enacts material expressions of Native peoples’ determination to maintain their identities and agency.
While Indigenous communities have practiced forms of beadwork for millennia, the importation of European glass beads and steel needles transformed beading into a transcontinental tradition.
Tribes integrated trade goods into preexisting aesthetic and material traditions, many of which persist after five centuries.
The artworks in this exhibition reveal how Native peoples use glass beads, an imported material, to reaffirm their own beliefs, relationships, and priorities.
For more information about the artworks, please contact the artists directly.