Ho Minti Society will present indigenous craft workshop

The Ho Minti Society, Inc., a nonprofit that encourages the vitality of traditional Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb arts and heritage, is launching its 2020 Indigenous Arts and Crafts Series with a workshop on brick stitch beading. The event is co-sponsored by Northwestern State University Anthropology and American Indian Programs, and hosted by the Williamson Museum. The workshop will be Feb. 29 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Williamson Museum, Kyser Hall 208.

“Native American arts and crafts are living arts,” Ho Minti President Rhonda Gauthier explained. “Working with beads, leather, wood, fabric, animal parts and other natural or synthetic materials, Native artists use traditional skills and techniques to create works of incredible beauty. Each Native American community has its own family traditions reflected in decorative details which are transmitted and used with respect.”

The technique for this first workshop is called brick stitch and requires weaving together tiny seed beads in a staggered pattern. It can be used to create diamond- or triangle-shaped objects. Dr. Rebecca Riall, an anthropologist and attorney on the NSU faculty, will teach the workshop.

“For Native people, learning traditional techniques from our elders is a time not just to learn about art, but to learn life lessons, laugh and think about our community,” Riall said.

“The greatest art is learned by listening to your elders,” said Jason “Big Jake” Rivers, a founding Ho Minti board member and Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb council member.

Future workshops will include traditional basket making, leather bags and more.

“We need to keep our cultures alive,” said Ho Minti Treasurer Pam Cartinez.

“Ho Minti Society is using workshops to share Native American living arts with Native and non-Native peoples,” Gauthier added.

Registration is required by emailing Gauthier at gauthier@nsula.edu. Children over 12 are permitted if accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Materials are provided at no cost. However, those with nickel allergies may wish to bring one pair of hypoallergenic earwires.

“Ho Minti” means “y’all come” in Choctaw and reflects the nonprofit’s commitment to coming together to share and support American Indian ways of knowing and doing.