Random Acts of Living

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Beadwomen - A Lesson

My Grandmother taught me how to bead. "Now she said you put nine beads on. Nine of those white beads."

I think I was eight years old, that was the toughest job I ever did, trying to string up nine beads. I don't know how many times I gave up. I think I gave up every bead. She said keep at it. She got hers done real quick. I finally got nine beads on this one strand.

Then when she was talking to me that night, she said, Granddaughter, you have to make one mistake in there. She said, in everything you make, you make one mistake.

I was thinking, gee, how am I going to make a mistake. She said, that is a way of life, that's what we believe in. Everything is not perfect. So when you make something, when you do something, you're suppose to make one little mistake.

So sometimes I would put a wrong colored bed in one of my designs. I did that and then I was asking her, how does that look and she said that looks good. Cause she knew what I did, and she approved of it, so I just left it.

The story above was transcribed from a video on Native American women. I apologize to all for not having documented my source, I would certainly provide it here if I had it. I copied this story for two reasons; first because I feel it teaches a valuable lesson that we would all do well to learn. Instead of pushing our children to perfection that most cannot possibly achieve, teach them to accept imperfection as a matter of fact, something to be embraced as just a part of life. The second reason I saved this story is because I remember as a little girl my aunt telling me about items she had purchased in her travels. She told us that you could always tell real "Indian" beading from non-Indian reproductions because the real beading would always have one bead out of place and the reproduction would be perfect. I now understand why.


Anita said...

Love that...

I don't mention it much, but according to my dad's family, my great grandmother was 100% Cherokee... Native American stories and teachings from all tribes have always fascinated me...


A beautiful story. Made me think of myself and school - trying to be perfect was driving me insaner :)

Alice said...

What a great story and it makes perfect sense to me. Native Americans have such wonderful ways.

Wendy said...

I like to think of myself as a recovering perfectionst (very successful at making mistakes!). I agree with you - children need not be taught to strive for perfection. They need to be taught to dare to be average - and to know that mistakes are part of life. Very nice story Moonshadow, I enjoyed it a LOT.

Peter said...

Hi! I was here the other day and couldn't think of anything to say until day.

I vaguely remember that when we were teenagers or perhaps a bit older, my sister used to put these beads, like yours, together to make bracelets.

So I asked my wife about it and she said it was all the rage a long time ago for young girls to make these things for themselves and their dolls etc.

But I have to say yours a far better looking!


Martha Alderson said...

The story reminded me to stop and take a breath and relax. We're meant to make mistakes. It's part of being human.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I'm really glad you shared it with me. Thank you so much!!!! Will try to remember it too!