Dene Couture by Tishna Marlowe
Beading is very deeply rooted in our Culture and is still going strong.”
I am a member of the Lutselke Dene Band, which is located East Arm of the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories (Place of Small Fish). It is here that my deep-rooted passion for my Culture and beading has influenced and molded me into the Artist I am today. I grew up watching my late great-grandmother Marie Casaway Scrape, tan hides, and bead well into her 80’s, and my grandmother Madeline Marlowe whose love of beading has passed onto me. I have spent endless hours as a toddler, child, and young adult watching this woman work diligently to perfect the art of beadwork. I also contribute my influences to so many of the Women of Lutselke, as there are many Beaders with flawless work. Beading is very deeply rooted in our Culture and is still going strong.
Six Red Beads is a symbol of Traditional Knowledge, Preservation of Culture, and most importantly staying true to the Concepts and Protocols of my Culture. It also represents a Relationship I have with the Materials such as the Fish Scale, which my family harvested and ate. I incorporate these Fish Scales, Caribou Antlers, Furs and Various discarded animal parts into beautiful one-of-a-kind gowns. These gowns are a way and form I use to learn Traditional Knowledge while appealing to the younger Generations.
Passing on Traditional Knowledge, A Way of Life, and the Sacred Relationship I as a designer and Dene person have with the Land is very important to my and my Art. It's about the Materials being used and the Process in creating these Garments.
Tishna Marlowe is a Dene fine craft artist from the Northwest Territories.