A beadworker and member of the Miami (Myaamia) Tribe of Oklahoma, Katrina Mitten comes from one of five families allowed to remain after the era of Indian Removal. She began learning traditional beadwork styles at age twelve by studying pieces in her home and at museums. Her granddaughter, Saiyah Miller, would come over after school during their apprenticeship to “learn to do what Grandma does.”
Katrina draws inspiration from the patterning of Great Lakes and Miami beadwork embroidery, as well as contemporary art and the natural environment. “Everything art-wise is inspired by what The Creator gave us,” Katrina says. She repeats to Saiyah, “we don’t try to recreate something The Creator did, but we can put our best expression forward.” Their time together encourages Saiyah to connect with the stories of her family while expressing her own creativity.