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Oglala | Lakota
Brenda began her beading career when she was 8 years old, her older sister taught her so they could hang out together. Brenda had this to say about her experience, "It didn't go very well because my beadwork was so messy and wouldn't line up nicely and I almost gave up, but my sister said to keep trying and practice a lot, so I did and she was right! Eventually the beadwork came out perfectly."
Today, the whole family beads and Brenda continues to practice her art. She likes to try different types of beadwork like lane stitch, loom work, applique and the very difficult peyote stitch. She uses graph paper to map out her designs and is always trying to make improvements on them. "In the beginning it was key chains and small items but then I got better and started making purses and cradleboards."
Brenda also said that she intends to learn quillwork, she appreciates the hard work involved but also knows that as an artist she must evolve, she never wants to do the same old thing everyday, boring herself and her customers. Brenda also knows that she lives in one of the poorest counties in the United States, she lives in a place that does not have a gas station, grocery store, bank or restaurant but this does not make her the person she is, staying connected to her culture and family are what really defines her.