Beaded Post Earrings by Leslie Bitsie Jr., Navajo glass beads, leather backing
3” long x 1 1/8” wide
Leslie Bitsie Jr. (born 1968) is a beadwork artist from Tohatchi, NM on the Navajo Nation.He is the 12thgeneration and continues to reside on and maintain his ancestral family lands in Tohatchi.In the Navajo kinship system, Leslie is Dzil T'aa Nii (Mountain Base People), born for Chishi Dine'e (Chiricahua Apache People); his maternal grandfather is Tsenjikinni (Black Stone House People), and his paternal grandfather is Ashihii (Salt Area People).Leslie is a graduate of New Mexico State University (Master of Science), and the University of New Mexico (Associate of Arts and Applied Science).
His introduction to beadwork was a result of his lifelong exposure to and appreciation of Native American culture. This inherent passion was cultivated through both his late mother Alice, and maternal grandmother Nellie. Leslie was influenced also by his parents' and grandparents' spiritual beliefs and wisdom.Leslie took on a style of his own that would help keep Native beadwork alive.
Leslie’s artwork can be described as a carefully calculated, selected, and sorted arrangement of seed beads hand embroidered onto various foundations. He utilizes European glass beads, precious metals, crystal beads, and various natural materials such as shells.Leslie beads on a range of material, from brain tanned smoked hide, commercial tanned hide, Navajo tanned deer hide, and manufactured fabric.
In 1995 Leslie began to pursue beadwork full-time. His first ever public showing of beaded art was at the Gallup, New Mexico Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial in 1997 earning him a 1st place blue ribbon. This recognition validated his artistic ability and led to furthering his artistic career. Leslie’s beadwork has won awards at various shows including Santa Fe Indian Market, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Museum of Northern Arizona Navajo Show.