- They carry a message of sweet acceptance of others—the energy of support and celebration
- While building a Bead Person, the builder is automatically led by his or her creative spirit into an experience of peace.
- When we do a Bead People project, we naturally foster and nourish a moment of coming together, creating something fun and cool, generating conversation, and admiring one another’s efforts. This IS community and collaboration.
You see, The Bead People are not preachy or just symbolic—they are active and creative.
At an educational event we went to a couple of years ago in Rapid City, this woman, a well-respected Lakota Elder, wandered by our table where we had at least 200 Bead People laid out in little rows. She walked by, and then actually backed up and returned to our table. A beautiful smile lit up her face. She put out a hand, palm down, and kind of scanned the rows of Bead People. Then she looked up at me, still smiling, and said, “They are wakan—each one has its own little spirit.” In Lakota, wakan means “sacred.”
Call me crazy, but I believe they are alive with spirit just as she said. There is no other way to explain why people seem to light up when they find their own special Bead Person. They light up—with recognition of creative spirit, recognition of peace.
I have put off writing or sending this newsletter for a long time because I thought I had to learn the language of “marketing.” The truth is, I’ just not built that way. I will never master the “M” word and am forced to do what I do—share who I am at the level of heart and spirit. It will have to be enough.
Having admitted that, I could use your help to spread The Bead People Peace Project across the world. Already 6500 Bead People have traveled to 18 different countries, but I am greedy for more peace, more creativity, and more connection in this world. I believe the wakan energy of The Bead People can help us move toward a that if we take the project one-by-on, community-by-community and start a movement of celebration and acceptance. I have had it up to my eyeballs with being fed on a diet of fear and separation.
There are no ugly Bead People. They are all perfect, beautiful, unique, and enlivened with creative spirit—just like us.
Here are just a few ideas that my wild mind has come up with, but I will definitely need your help bringing them into action.
- Create a Bead People exchange program for students, churches, women’s groups—whoever. People of one country getting to know people of another country through the most ancient means of exchange—beads.
- Set up bead People Peace Festivals in schools, youth groups or church groups—kind of a school carnival with a purpose. For this idea I have found other similar project such as The Pulsera Project and Pennies for Peace that, when put together with The Bead People and other teacher driven ideas such as Poster Projects, Poetry Slams etc, would make for a fun, educational and culturally relevant event. Not to mention GREAT FUN.
- Bead People in a Box. I send out a box of already made Bead People with books to seel within schools or groups. The proceeds go to support our monthly Bead People Peace Prize. We already have kits available if you would rather build your own—or build Bead People to contribute to this effort. My fingers are getting calluses.
- The Bead People Peace Prize. Every month I want to pick out a worthy project and award them a Bead People Peace Prize that comes with a donation to their project. There are so many people working at the grass roots level to support creating a more peaceful world—we want to recognize and collaborate with them.
- Creating curriculum to go along with Bead People projects. This I have already started, but I am open to good ideas.
- The Translation Project: Again, we have already started this. The Wind story is already available in Spanish, Lakota, Danish, and other languages. What we want to do is use Google translate but then have native speakers polish our translation for us. We probably can’t physically print each translation, but we can make them available online.
- This one is a recent idea that I did not come up with but love. A senior community center in Stillwater, MN is hosting two intergenerational Bead People events this May. Seniors with work with grade school classes to build Bead People. What a great idea, Karla!
See what happens when a wild mind gets infused with creative spirit? As you can probably figure out, this is bigger than what Milt and I can do. But we are patient and willing to ask for help.
Did any of those ideas spark your interest? Would you like to join our community and see what develops over the next many years? Your time means as much as your money. We want you to become a part of The Bead People community. To open this up, we have built a project on Indie Go Go as a way to build our community. We also, of course, have a FB fan page and our own blog and website. All of these resources are listed below. Check them out and check in with us. Become a fan, join our list, purchase your own Bead Person or kit , or offer a translation on Indie Go Go.