Early tubular beads were  made from bones of mammals, birds, fish or reptiles. Stones, wood, berries, seeds, claws, hoofs and teeth were also used as beading material for ornaments and decorations. This site has examples of different tribes bead art and resources from Native American websites.

Another good general site on beads, culture, meanings

Introduction of the glass bead to America

Cultural value of beads

Excellent example of a beaded Lakota Woman's buckskin dress symbolizing the turtle who is associated with woman and the creation of life.

Examples of Men's special shirts and the decoration on them

Article on the traditional Sioux crafts being revised

Bead Weaving Techniques and Analysis by Shelly M Smith and Tara Prindle

Beadwork Designer (Excellent Interactive website) Play around with this to design patterns and for fit.
For Planning Loom work or Lane Stitch projects

More techniques

Tips on Sewing Beads to leather

Appliqué Techniques with Glass Beads

Lane Stitch Techniques with Glass Beads

Edging Techniques with Glass Beads

Floral and Geometric Design Building Blocks (Patterns)


Woven Wampum site included for its early loom style

Weaving beads on a loom



Liquid Silver Necklace, simple, but elegant


Spirit bead is in neck at bottom. 2 dark blue beads together in the line. This is my sister's first attempt at beading a bottle and she used wire to string the beads on.

 June's pipe detail. Excellent example of beadwork.


All photos property of June Shaputis