About

Aho and welcome friends. This website is to display and sell my beading. I mostly do what I call story bands. They are hat bands that tell a story passed down by my ancestors. They represent a belief and a version of why things are as they appear here in the illusion. Every color has a meaning and everything is linked together. All the elements are held together by their particular medicine. I believe we can share and benefit from this medicine by wearing the story or studying it while holding it for a direct connection.

Wampum belts served this purpose for my ancestors using beads made of quahog and whelk shell. I prefer to use no. 11 seed beads, nylon cord, a loom and modern adhesives to attach the ends. All my hat bands come with a card explaining the story and a bit about finishing the ends with your choice of decoration. I also believe it is important for the owner of a hat band to participate in its finishing so you can share medicine with the band itself. Here`s a good introduction to the wampum belt

Over the years I have made many custom sizes and adjusted patterns to fit all hat sizes. Measure the circumference of the hat you will be putting the band on. I like to have no more than a 3/8 to 1/2 inch gap between the leather ends. The leather cord can be finished how ever you like. I provide a wooden slip bead that`s the right size to hold the ends together. I also suggest that velcro be used to secure the band to the hat. With velcro you can carefully remove the band and move it from hat to hat. If you would like a more permanent attachment just stitch it to a felt hat or cement it to straw.

My hat bands look great on any type of brimmed hat. Let them tell your story in color and design. Thanks for the visit. Johnny Blackbird

white hat with spirit bird


A bit about me. Not too much to say of interest. I am a half breed Kickapoo, Pottawatomie, white hybrid…so to speak. My formative years were spent on our reservation with one brother and three sisters, plus my mother, grandmother and grandfather and a rather large clan. We are Turtle clan of the Prairie Band Kickapoo. I began beading as a child with a belt my grandmother made and taught me to decorate. The belt is long gone but I am still here and beading. I have a bit more time now that I am an elder and it helps me remember our stories and what is important while we pass our time in the illusion.

feather stick transp copy

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