May 6, 2010

Designer Profile | Teri Greeves

Teri Greeves

Teri Greeves grew up on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and began beading when she was eight years old. Since then, she has developed her own style and has become known for beading on unusual surfaces. Her medium of choice, beadwork, represents Native adaptability to new materials because it references the interaction and cultural exchange with Europeans who first introduced trade beads to Native Americans centuries ago.

Eclectic and vibrantly colored, her fully beaded high-top shoes combine contemporary Native realities with traditional oral historical themes, and modernizes the tradition of beading moccasins. Through her work she hopes to educate by sharing the history and values of her people, and to bring beauty into the world in new ways. Although many of Greeves’ pieces are for adornment, essentially, she says, “I bead contemporary Native life.”

Greeves’ Indian Couture book (pictured below) features six powwow outfits and highlights how each small accessory works with the dress to create an overall “look.” The handmade hairpieces, footwear, belts, dresses, pouches and shawls are all made with the finest materials. Through this book, Greeves honors Native women’s contemporary dance and clothing, and shows that these specially-made Indian outfits are couture. She states that changes in Native ‘traditional’ clothing represent living Native cultures, and these garments, which fuse the new with the old, are beautiful representations of survival. Greeves explains that, “In their contemporary, often urban, often educated, often well-traveled way, the women who dance and make outfits today are not only couture, but also the very definition of ‘authentic’ Native America.”


  1. Wow, amazing! I really like her work and the converse beaded high tops.

  2. Hi Jessica, after I saw the wonderful shoes in your post here, I thought you might be interested in these shoes by Sondra Simone Segunda that are in the "In the Spirit" juried exhibition in Tacoma, Washington. You're probably already familiar with her work, but I thought I would send you the link, just in case.

    -Lara Evans, Not Artomatic: a blog wrestling with art

  3. These are gorgeous! They had a pair on display at the NMAI when I worked there for the summer. I used to stop by on my way to lunch just to stare at them. :) would you mind if I re-posted this? I love the way they do that modernity/tradition juxtaposition so well.

  4. Wow! I love your blog Jessica and I look forward to reading your thesis when it is done!
    I love how the high tops combine street style and the heritage of beautiful Aboriginal beadwork..

  5. Holy Smokes! That is fantastic. I am very happy to see the work.

    here is a little documentary that you may be interested. Watch online

  6. Here from Native Appropriations. Just wanted to say that these are amazing works of art. I especially love the woman with the fan -- such an expressive piece.

  7. Would you be interested in contributing to our new network: