Web Analytics

Leith Mahkewa

Artist Profile Leith Mahkewa Kaneratonta: Kahnawake, QC “I didn’t even think I would get in!” exclaimed Mahkewa. The artist submitted an application to show her skills at the 2013 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Arizona. The festival brings over 700 top quality Ind igenous artists from all nations together with over 20,000

Artist Profile

Leith Mahkewa
Kaneratonta: Kahnawake, QC

Leith Mahkewa - beadwork“I didn’t even think I would get in!” exclaimed Mahkewa. The artist submitted an application to show her skills at the 2013 Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Arizona. The festival brings over 700 top quality Ind igenous artists from all nations together with over 20,000 visitors eager to purchase exclusive, one of a kind works. Her piece was not only accepted, but went on to take First Place in her division, and then Best in Class overall in Diverse Art Forms.

The award winning piece is a beaded bag, titled “Raotonnets – His Spirit.” The bag carries the story of a boy beginning his journey into manhood. Her vision is of a young man carrying this bag as he walks into manhood, learning to become a strong provider and protector, hunting with his elders, and carrying in it medicines for offerings of thanks.

In creating the piece, the artist went through some essential growth in her creative process. “Everything I’ve made has been for somebody, this was the first thing I made that was for nobody.” While that process was freeing, it also came with its own set of complications. “It had no purpose at first. It was just something I was making to be judged. There was no soul to the bag, and then it came.”

Mahkewa says this was her breakthrough piece as an artist, bringing a strong artistic maturity, “The art is taking you where it wants you to go, rather than the piece telling you where you have to go.”

This is not her only work of art. Leith’s beadwork is in high demand throughout the nation. “For me its all about somebody who is using it. I want to see somebody using it. I don’t want to see my work sitting in a box. That is the greatest compliment to me. Whether they are gifted or bought, that is what gives those pieces life. Its good to find things that are in perfect condition but if it shows the time, if you can see the persons footprint that is what is good to me.”

Her work is available to view, and for purchase, on her Facebook page Leith Mahkewa. https://www.facebook.com/leithbeadwork

Leith Mahkewa
Kaneratonta – “when the buds are coming out”
Oneida-Hopi Beadwork Artist from Kahnawake, QC
leithmakewa@gmail.com

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Headquarters:


Oneida Business Park Suite 124
50 Generations Drive, Box 1
Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
Six Nations of the Grand River Country


Email: info@tworowtimes.com


Main office: (519) 900-5535


Editorial: (519) 900-6241


Advertising: (519) 900-6373

Most Recent Articles

Two Row Times

Two Row Times

LIVE NOW! CLICK TO VIEW.
CURRENTLY OFFLINE