Mohawk artist Ashley Bensoussan has teamed with the Lennox and Addington County Museum to create a take-home craft that celebrates both Pride Month and Indigenous Peoples Day.
Available from June 21-30, the take-home kits will provide all the material needed to create rainbow beaded fringe earrings. Bensoussan has put together a step-by-step tutorial video to guide people through the process of crafting the earrings.
“I made it so it’s the most basic level so if you’ve never done any beading project whatsoever, I made sure to really walk people through the very core basics of not only what I’m doing but the tools that I’m using and why I’m using them so if they want to continue on with their own beading projects in the future they have a little bit of the information,” said Bensoussan. “I’m hoping it sparks some interest in a few people and maybe they’ll take it somewhere.”
The project was perfect for the month of June because it combines a symbol of Pride with traditional Indigenous art. Acceptance of all forms of love has long been a staple of the Mohawk community.
“Within our community it’s generally referred to as two-spirit,” said Bensoussan. “Gender roles, although there are some specific things within traditional Mohawk culture that are more specific, there have been much more blurred lines when it comes to gender identity in a beautiful way. It’s not held with such importance to identify yourself as either male or female. It really shows such greater acceptance within the community as a whole, especially more traditionally. The culture itself really stems from a place of love and acceptance because it’s rooted in Mother Nature as opposed to political nonsense the rest of the world kind of runs by.”
To pick up a rainbow fringe earring kit, visit https://countymuseum.ca/event/indigenous-pride-earrings/.
A multifaceted entrepreneur, Bensoussan founded Two Embers Beading, which specializes in earrings made in the traditional Mohawk style. Examples of Bensoussan’s work can be found at https://www.instagram.com/twoembersbeading/?fbclid=IwAR2-mX_QBqIa2Ibt5uegbnXzo6PLvoKcZZNrz6DxTIMbrBOc5fst_Q8d8p8.
In keeping with the Indigenous Peoples Day theme, the museum will welcome guest speaker Rick Revelle on June 21 for a Tuesday Night At The Museum presentation, starting at 7 p.m.
Author of a series of books that follow an Algonquin family in the 1300s, he’ll be sharing local Indigenous history along with readings from his novels and showing furs and artifacts.
To register for this in person event, visit https://museumoflanda.as.me/schedule.php?appointmentType=33090945. The cost to attend the event is $3.