Nancy S. Raymond

Tribe: Spokane
Based In: Wellpinit, WA

About the Artist
Nancy Raymond has lived her entire life on the Spokane Indian Reservation at Wellpinit, WA. Her grandmother, Nancy Flett, was a fine craftswoman and passed her beads on to family members. Nancy remembers playing in her beads as a child, and she still enjoys those beads today. She made her first beaded bag at age eleven. Since that first bag, Nancy has strived to perfect her skills as she honors the techniques that she learned from the generosity of family members who have shared their knowledge. Nancy's father passed when she was just five years old, and her uncles stepped in to help care for her in his absence. Uncle George Flett did museum work for the Spokane tribe and was best known as a beloved Spokane Ledger Art painter, silversmith, and goldsmith. Nancy and George were particularly close, as they shared a love of traditional arts. Nancy helped her uncle with travel and with his displays at art exhibitions. She helped him as his health declined. Before his passing, George gave many of his drawings to Nancy for use in her beadwork. Our ancestors inspire us with beautiful creations. Our relatives help carry those traditions through their teachings and tools. Nancy's skilled hands transform her uncle's drawings, which she sometimes sprinkles with the very old beads she inherited from her grandmother. With love for her poeple and respect for her heritage, Nancy now creates her own versions of beautiful, contemporary Spokane beaded art. As evidenced in Nancy's life and art, it is a part of Spokane culture to work together to inspire, teach, and give support, so that our relatives may have fulfilling lives.

(written for Nancy Raymond by Kathi Miller)