October 17

Montana Circle of American Masters Crow Artist Birdie Real Bird teaches a one-day beading workshop.
Participants can choose a bolo, medallion or earrings for their project. Materials package: $25 each.

Please call Barb McNab, Museum Educator for details at 307-763-5924 or e-mail bmcnab@thebrintonmuseum.org



Join us for a one-day beading workshop by Montana Circle of American Masters Crow Artist Birdie Real Bird on Saturday, October 17.
Participants can choose a bolo, medallion or earrings for their project.
Materials package: $25 each.

For more information contact Barb McNab, Museum Educator, at 307-763-5924 or e-mail bmcnab@thebrintonmuseum.org


Birdie Real Bird

Birdie Real Bird, from Garryowen, is a member of the Crow tribe, a member of the Big Lodge Clan, and a child of the Whistling Water Clan. She was raised on the reservation in a traditional family. Known throughout Montana for her exquisite beading projects and dolls, she comes from a long line of beading artists and learned to bead watching those elders work on projects. As Real Bird grew up, she began beading more complex projects under the tutelage of her grandmother. When she was growing up, she and her grandmother sold beadwork medallions to the wives of the employees at the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the Indian Health Services in order to get gas money. In college, Birdie made and sold beaded necklaces and earrings.

She always uses correct Crow traditional designs and colors in her work, but when she travels she looks for examples of Plains Indian beadwork in museum collections, such as the Peabody. Her dolls are in numerous collections, including the Smithsonian Museum. Real Bird is a retired middle school teacher and now devotes most of her time to beading and teaching traditional Crow culture. She is a popular speaker at reservation schools where she shares information about traditional dress, tells stories, teaches language, native games and beading. She works with students to explain the significance of cradleboards and dolls to Crow culture, helping students to also make the connections between the Crow, Yellowstone Park and their own community. Real Bird also travels the state working with with the Montana Historical Museum, OPI, and the Montana Arts Council. Recently she volunteered to paint murals on a building in Lodge Grass in hopes of improving the city’s look. She has demonstrated beading at the National Folk Festival in Butte, the Yellowstone Art Museum, and the Montana Historical Museum.

“Birdie is clearly a master of the art of beadwork. She is a great teacher and I learned a lot and was able to then move ahead on my own. But most of all, what I remember about the day with her was the laughter. We all had a lot of fun. ”

Wendy O.

Participant in last beading workshop at The Brinton Museum

“I received a lot of enjoyment from attending the workshop – not only from the art of beading on leather, but learning more about Birdie, the Crow culture and seeing examples of the wonderful dolls and objects she has created. ”

Barbara F.

Participant in our last beading workshop

“Birdie Real Bird is an excellent teacher (…). She is extremely knowledgeable and willing to share her skills and enthusiasm. May I take another class? ”

Janet H.

Participant in our last beading workshop