One of the things that I miss about living and working in Mongolia is the ability to create things on my evenings and weekends. I’m a maker. One of my first ventures into crafting came in scouts. I had a very strong interest in Native American crafts and picked up beading as one of the art forms.
I have done simple work like using beads to make a necklace or bracelet. I miss that simple therapeutic threading of beads onto a string, sinew, or hemp cord. My favorites usually included the claws or teeth of animals too. Twenty years ago I even wore some to school on occasion.
A more difficult method of beadwork uses a loom. I think I only ever did one loom piece – I guess I didn’t like doing the work much, but at the core I shied away since the natives in the Northeastern US did not use looms for their beadwork.
Perhaps my favorite was applique style beading. You could create your own designs similar to working with a loom but you really could “color outside the lines” as well. I actually sewed and appliqued a medicine bag for a friend in college. Otherwise I think that all the work I did was for my own personal use.
I think I would like to bring some beads back when I return to Mongolia in the fall. They are small, lightweight and an easy project that could be done quickly or give many hours of therapeutic work. As far as I can tell, beading is not a Mongolian art form. Many items are embroidered from the countryside but beads do not seem prevalent at all.
- Posted in: Zieak