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Moccasin-Making & Bead Embroidery in the Anishinaabe Style

Course Overview

Discover the designs, colors, styles, and techniques of traditional bead embroidery as you work with Ojibwe cultural specialist and Grand Portage band member Marcie McIntire, sewing and decorating a pair of moccasins in this course co-sponsored by the Grand Portage National Monument. The course begins with an overview of the Grand Portage National Monument’s historic collection of footwear and bead embroidery. You then design a pair of moccasins to make, choosing from either a baby or child’s moccasin pattern or an adult-sized pair.  Using quality tanned hide, Marcie will teach the steps required for assembly and help you design a pattern to finish your pair of moccasins with bead embroidery. Your materials fee includes the fabric, interfacing, beads, needles and thread.

The class will take place in the cultural heritage classroom at the Grand Portage National Monument Visitor Center in Grand Portage, MN (35 miles northeast of Grand Marais).

This course offers the students the opportunity to work with Marcie McIntire, an Anishinaabe beadworker. Marcie was exposed to beadwork from a young age not only from attending pow wows, but because her mother, Ellen Olson, is a well-established beadworker. Marcie's grandmother was also a beadworker, and Marcie believes that beading was a family tradition at least back to the 1850's. In 1969, an early point in her artistic career, Marcie took a tour of a Red Lake museum. It was only a fifteen-minute tour, but the beadwork covering the museum walls made a lasting impression on her. The beadwork and birch bark work at the Grand Portage National Monument has also served as an inspiration.

As a student in this course, you will also have access to the inspiration of the Monument. Your participation includes admission into the nearby reconstructed Historic North West Company Fur Trade Depot and the on-site exhibitions in the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center. The National Monument is an ideal learning location for this course.

Currently Scheduled Sessions