“My work is a combination of contemporary and traditional because of the materials used, the design elements and to the construction of the finished work.”
As a beadwork artist, Yonavea learned by sewing and beading cultural items for herself
and family. When asked to participate in her first art market she entered a pair
of Delaware moccasins in the Beadwork category. She has since continued to win
awards in other Native American art market competitions with her moccasins, beaded
cultural items, and loomed beaded belts in the Beadwork or Cultural/Diverse Arts
categories. Whether doing loom work or two-needle appliqué beadwork using cut beads,
her beadwork designs are a combination of traditional and contemporary. She has
a Fine Arts degree from Oklahoma City University and has been drawing and painting
since grade school.
As a little girl I loved drawing and painting and that love continued into adulthood with a fine arts degree. Little did I know that the artistic side of myself and the desire to have Caddo moccasins would converge and lead me to teaching myself how to do different beading techniques as a new medium. Today I create with beads and buckskin as wearable art and cultural items/diverse art for competitions at juried Native American art markets. My work is a combination of contemporary and traditional because of the materials used, the design elements and to the construction of the finished work. Contemporary, because of the use of the current Charlotte bead colors and today’s materials to bead on. Traditional, when I find the materials online to buy as I am an urban Native American without land access to harvest and collect traditional materials once used. The use of glass beads started with European contact, as beads, wool, and silk were trade goods toIndigenous peoples, and these trade goods became traditional for some Indigenous peoples. Beading techniques developed for using trade beads and used today, hold the traditional look, but in contemporary colors and designs, unless you find a stash of antique beads.