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Humility or Signature beads

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  • Humility or Signature beads

    I've heard of the practice that some beadworkers will place an odd-colored bead somewhere in their work as an intentional mistake. The bead was to acknowledge that only the Creator can make something perfect. I've also heard beaders say, "Good Lord, I make enough mistakes on my own so I don't need to put any more in!"

    Then I know of people who use an odd-colored bead as a signature, a way to identify their work.

    How many of you beaders do either of these?

  • #2
    I've always heard it called "spirit" bead. And as far as it ..a....being "intentional" as a form of humility?? Aaaaaaaaah...yeah...:( ....that's it.... !!! :p



    And man oh man am I ever humble!
    "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

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    • #3
      I thought some of the beaders were just color blind from seeing a certain color for a lengthy time and mistook a different color bead for that certain color? So...yeah! You might call it a "spirit" bead! :p "FAKIN' TO BE ANOTHER COLOR"
      "The poorest person is a person without a family" -Crow Indian proverb.

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      • #4
        I used to use one red bead as my signature..but then I found so many others who did the same thing that it did'nt make sense to sign it that way anymore... That and I was using alot of red anyhow.
        Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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        • #5
          people know my work by the amount of blood still on it from all the needle stabs...sometimes i feel like a pin cushion.
          Sometimes the Wolves are silent...and the Moon is howling.

          Home of the Free...BECAUSE of the Brave!

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          • #6
            Dear Folks.....I know some people that do this and it seems to me that if you really want to do what is historically correct go study old beadwork. While you will occasionally find a piece of work with an odd color bead, I find that it was generally not intentionally done. If you study how beads are sold in hanks, there is occasionally an odd bead strung in the hank.
            nabeader

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            • #7
              I don't make mistakes on purpose, but sometimes I do leave a little mistake, like an odd bead or something, rather than tear the work out and do it over. Lots of times I notice it only later on several rows, and I sure don't want to remove all those beads! But I actually do take the beads back out if it's a really noticeable mistake. I rationalize it to myself by saying "Oh well, only Creator makes anything perfect." LOL And if someone else were to notice, I might tell them that, too. But no------usually I don't do it on purpose. And I don't leave a signature bead, either. I always remember my own work. How could anyone forget, after being so close to it for so long in the process of making something with beadwork?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nabeader
                Dear Folks.....I know some people that do this and it seems to me that if you really want to do what is historically correct go study old beadwork. While you will occasionally find a piece of work with an odd color bead, I find that it was generally not intentionally done. If you study how beads are sold in hanks, there is occasionally an odd bead strung in the hank.
                nabeader
                It's my understanding that on hanks of beads, that the odd color bead is to show that the hank of beads have been inspected for color and size uniformness.

                As far as my using a "spirit" bead or making a "mistake", i used to do that, but now i don't have to because i can usually point out the "mistakes" in my beadwork without being intentional. ;-D

                But with much of my beadwork these days, i don't worry about a mistake or spirit bead.
                DANCING IS EVERYTHING!!!!

                I love my tipi's. I'll never be homeless with them.

                History is written by the winners.


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                • #9
                  Re: Humility or Signature beads

                  Originally posted by Czechy
                  I've heard of the practice that some beadworkers will place an odd-colored bead somewhere in their work as an intentional mistake. The bead was to acknowledge that only the Creator can make something perfect. I've also heard beaders say, "Good Lord, I make enough mistakes on my own so I don't need to put any more in!"

                  Then I know of people who use an odd-colored bead as a signature, a way to identify their work.

                  How many of you beaders do either of these?
                  I have heard and seen an article about the placing an odd color bead as an intentional mistake. I have find that I don't need to make an intentional mistake, I make enough on my own but don't realize it until 8 or 9 rows later.

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                  • #10
                    How many of you either do something like skipping a bead in something like edge beading, or exclude part of a design? I remember a piece of beadwork my aunt brought back from Anadarko. It had a peyote stitched section, a rosette, and another peyote stitched section. I found that the person who made it had excluded a bead from the edging work. Another example of this was found in a pair of barettes I bought in Minneapolis. While examining the beadwork a little more closely, I found that the person included a bead of the same color of the edging beadwork in the last row of beading for the main part of the barette. It wasn't that detectable because it blended in with the edging beadwork. Whispering Wind had an article about this topic a few years ago. The article showed how some Lakota beaders excluded various parts of their beaded designs. I thought is was interested.

                    Oh, and I do put a mistake in my work. Sometimes my mistakes come from not working in a bright enough light & picking up the wrong color, but most of the time, they are intentional.

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                    • #11
                      Well.

                      I've never really cared to sign my beadwork, but a friend of mine once beaded his initials into any piece that was big enough.

                      D
                      Build a man a fire and you warm him for a night. Set a man on fire and you warm him for the rest of his life.

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                      • #12
                        The "spirit" bead thing is something I have heard for years about Native American beading and about the beading from almost ALL culturtes over the world. Somethimes I think it is more like an old wives tale than a real truth. Was it made up by people to excuse mistakes? Was it something made up by non Indian sellers to "prove" that the things that they sold were authentic?

                        I often hear this from non beaders more than beaders. It really seems to excite them. I do know that there are many who do intentionally put in a wrong bead, and like me, many who put that bead in by mistake. Personaly, I fix all mistakes that I find because they make me feel careless. I don't find them all, especially those that are made because of poor lighting.

                        I have just spent 3 weeks with my husband looking at beadork collections in four major museums in NY, DC and Penn. where we saw, literally thousands of beaded items. There were all sorts of qualities represented; old work that is perfect, old work that was poorly done either from talent or from avaliability of materials, some that had been mistreated before the museum collected it, some deterioration from aging and some brand new items that are perfect. Never was the "spirit" bead mentioned by any of the curators nor by any of the other museum employees. The beadwork was awsome no matter the condition. About 50% of the people we delt with were Native Americas from North, Central and South America.

                        I do feel that everyone should do what they feel they are comfortable doing and not to let others pressure them into doing something else, especially by making them feel guilty of some infringement of someone elses belief system.

                        Sally

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                        • #13
                          Spirit Beads

                          I have a friend that sells beads. He's had quite a few people who will only buy a hank of beads that has an odd colored bead in there. A spirit bead. He tells that the manufacturer uses an odd colored bead, every few thousand, as a counting measure. To each their own.

                          D
                          Build a man a fire and you warm him for a night. Set a man on fire and you warm him for the rest of his life.

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                          • #14
                            Best guesstimate? That an odd bead is either intentional or an honest mistake - and it's convenient and reverent to attribute to the perfection of the Creator :Angel2 But what I have a problem with is when I've got lots of odd beads that snuck their way in, now is that lots of spirit, or why I got an eye dr. appointment?:dontknow:
                            Diplomacy is the art of being able to tell someone to go to H-E-double hockey sticks and have them look forward to the trip.

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