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Press Release

October 13, 2015

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Gourd Stitch Beadwork Class to be Offered at the Oklahoma History Center

Oklahoma City, Okla. — The Oklahoma History Center is excited to offer instruction in the gourd stitch, a very unique application of beading that is also referred to as the peyote technique. This class will be held on Saturday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn the basics of the stitch and will have the opportunity to view the museum's examples of this beautiful artistry. The cost for the class is $75 and includes materials and lunch. Registration is required, and is limited to 12 participants age 15 and older. The deadline to register is Saturday, October 31. To register or for more information, contact the Oklahoma History Center Education Department at education@okhistory.org or 405-522-3602.

The name "gourd stitch" is derived from the use of the stitch in decorating gourd containers. It is a single needle technique that is worked back and forth for rectangular shapes, and in a spiral or in rounds for circular or tubular shapes. Cultures around the world have used this beadwork technique, which has been found in ancient Egyptian artifacts. It also has been used in historic and contemporary American Indian beadwork. Learning the stitch is usually easier than it looks, and it is a great style to use for bracelets, necklaces, amulets and small bags.

The class will be taught by Yonavea Hawkins, who learned to sew Caddo and Delaware dresses from her mother and taught herself to sew Caddo shirts for her sons and nephews. She has sewn many Caddo one-piece and two-piece dresses and traditional Delaware women's clothing for herself and others. She can make a dushtooh (Caddo hair ornament), shawls and Caddo moccasins. She is also familiar with the traditional decorative styles of other tribes, including Osage ribbon work, Sac and Fox moccasins, Quapaw moccasins, Kiowa children's clothing and Kiowa children's moccasins. From college to the present she has entered various competitions and has won awards for her artwork and beadwork. For more information about Hawkins, visit www.yonavea.com.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

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