How Alaska Beadwork Started

My name is Cindy VanWezel, I am an Athabascan Indian. I love to make and sell beadwork which includes: barrettes, key chains, magnets, pin and moccasins, inspired by Alaska's majestic beauty.

I was born and raised in Alaska. I grew up on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula in the town of Ninilchik. I have also lived in the beautiful towns Seward and Galena.

At the age of eighteen I was enjoying a trip to Anchorage to attend the Fur Rendezvous. I met a woman who had beadwork for sale so I purchased one of her barrettes and a book with patterns. I then bought some books on seed bead earrings and taught myself how to make earrings.

When I was twenty I traveled to the interior of Alaska and had my first lesson learning how to bead using an embroidery method on traditional smoked leather, from my biological mother, an Athabascan Indian from Galena, Alaska. Ever since then I have very much enjoyed making beaded items.

Every item is handcrafted by myself. I am an enrolled tribal member of the federally recognized Huslia tribe from the State of Alaska.

My beadwork can be found online at my webiste ( in addition you can follow me on Facebook, Etsy, Instagram and Pinterest.
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