Katrina Mitten

Katrina Mitten

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Katrina taught herself to bead at a young age after discovering heirlooms at her grandmother’s house. Today, she creates beadwork, sculptural pieces, jewelry, and drawings, and she takes inspiration from the world around her.

About Katrina Mitten

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma

Katrina Mitten is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and an award-winning artist who has been beading for more than 45 years. Katrina, whose beadwork skills were self-taught, works in the traditional Great Lakes embroidery style of Native beadwork. When she first started beading, she studied family heirlooms and museum pieces to understand how Native beadwork artists in the past created their work. Learning to do it herself was a trial-and-error process: like any other skill, it took a lot of practice to reach the point where she considered herself an artist.

To expand her knowledge and skills, Katrina went to art school when she was 45 years old. There she tried her hand at everything from drawing and painting to metalwork and ceramics. She uses much of what she learned in her work today: in addition to her beadwork, she creates drawings, jewelry, and sculptural pieces.

Her imagery is inspired by the world around her. Her works have been acquired by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and national museums such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, as well as by private collectors. Katrina has been featured in documentary films, and often teaches elementary, secondary, and university-level educational programs to help students learn more about her artwork and Miami culture.


handmade doll cradle with beaded blanket

Katrina Mitten (Miami of Oklahoma, born 1962) Cradling our Future, 2007 black wool, canvas, size 11 glass beads, brain tanned deer leather, commercial tanned deer leather, brass thimbles and cones, abalone shell, pine wood, sinew, cotton fabric with batting fill Collection of Eiteljorg Museum, 2007 Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award 2007.5.1

Words you need to know


Decorating cloth, leather, or other fabrics using thread and a needle.


Items passed down in a family and considered special.


A work of art that is three-dimensional.
Related term:
Sculpture: A type of three-dimensional art often made by carving wood or marble, molding clay or plastic, bending and welding metal, or combining various materials.


To feel, think, or act in a certain way.