Miami beadwork appears on many types of costume: pendants, ruffled ribbon shirts, boots, and bolos for Sunday meetings and powwows, as well as fashion jewelry that is worn every day. Beads were originally an important trade item in colonial days, with beaded wampum belts signifying wealth in personal exchanges such as marriages and treaties. In contemporary society, beaded items still represent personal wealth, but in a different manner: they are often given as gifts and therefore represent the wealth that comes from having positive social connections through family and friends. On this page, two Miami women share their love for beadwork as an art and an expression of heritage.
Click on the pictures to the left to learn more about Evans and Mitten's work. You can meet some of Indiana's local artists and personally experience some of the arts pictured in this exhibit by visiting Fort Wayne during Miami Indian Heritage Days, held annually in the summer at the Chief Richardville House.