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Handmade Portraits: Mabel Pike

Mar 13, 2012

by Tara Young

MP4 | YouTube | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Music by Two Dark Birds)

Tribal elder and moccasin maker Mabel Pike passed away last week. In honor of her memory, we’ve brought this piece back from the archives. She leaves us a legacy of inspiration.

Tlingit Native elder Mabel Pike first learned how to sew moccasins from her great-grandmother in the 1920s. After her village in Douglas, Alaska burned down in 1926, Mabel’s parents moved their family to Juneau, where Mabel and her sisters began selling their handcrafted Native wares.

At 91 years old, Mabel has been doing needlework all of her life. She has never been able to make her living solely from her handicrafts, but she’s not in it for the money. As a Tlingit master artist, she has taught beadwork at Stanford University and is on the board of the Alaska Native Heritage Center. With a deep-seated passion for beading, Mabel is dedicated to passing on the the traditions of her clan’s culture.

There are many clans of native peoples in Alaska. Some still live as hunter-gatherers in rural villages, carrying on the ways of their ancestors, while others live in the city, trading with friends and family for materials. By supporting indigenous artists, we sustain not only their craft, but also their knowledge and living history. This history is just as important to their local economies today as it was a hundred years ago, before Western culture was integrated into their own.




Mabel Pike sells her wares at local craft fairs or for similar work look in the Alaska Native Arts Foundation’s online shop. Read about non-profit ANAF and its founder Alice Rogoff in an earlier Etsy Blog post featuring their former gallery in NYC, Alaska House.

This piece was originally published January 18, 2011.

Craftivism | Shop Local Alaska | Posts About History


  • VogueByVague

    VogueByVague said 6 years ago

    oh, this is so sweet! I understand losing yourself in your work. Thank you for this article!

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work THANKS for sharing

  • thecottagemarket

    thecottagemarket said 6 years ago

    this is precious -- love this special article! i can see the love in your work and completely "get" how you can just go into another world while doing it! a very special article indeed! : )

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    Truly amazing!!!!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful piece. I watched it 3 times. I hope at 91 I am still working with my hands. I collect Native Art, and just realized I don't have a pair of moccasins. Those red raven ones called my name. :-)

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 6 years ago

    I appreciate the tenacity with which you hold on to the "old" way of doing your beading.

  • remodernseries

    remodernseries said 6 years ago

    beautiful. :)

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 6 years ago

    Thank you weirdwolf for bring Mabel to us.

  • prairiechicxx

    prairiechicxx said 6 years ago

    Mabel is a beautiful woman, and it shows in her bead work. Maybe a new category for Etsy is needed that highlights "Cultural Art and Traditions". Very inspiring article, thank you.

  • JMGJewelDesign

    JMGJewelDesign said 6 years ago

    She is just as sweet as pie, I could give her a big smooch!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 6 years ago

    what a touching piece love her passion and kind words beautiful work!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    So cute, go Mabel!

  • auntjanecan

    auntjanecan said 6 years ago

    This is a great article and Mabel's work is so completely beautiful and wonderful. Thank you for having this article here about a great master!

  • ndnchick

    ndnchick said 6 years ago

    Great Article! :)

  • Andriano

    Andriano said 6 years ago

    Grateful I am for your eyes that have seen and passed on .. and the embrace that Mabel shares with us all..


    TEJIDOS said 6 years ago

    Such beautiful work Mabel! It's just wonderful that you pass on your cultures handiwork, and nothing like a master to learn from.

  • SusanFaye

    SusanFaye said 6 years ago

    I'm so inspired! Thanks for sharing Mabel's story and her beautiful work!

  • meganandmona

    meganandmona said 6 years ago

    Mabel is a wonderful lady. It's so important to pass on skills, and like her I learnt from my grandmothers. Really made my day and would love to see more of Mabel.

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article and work!

  • thelittlemarket

    thelittlemarket said 6 years ago

    Beautiful story and work!! Congrats to Mabel!

  • mycrochetgarden

    mycrochetgarden said 6 years ago

    Amazing! Does she have an Etsy shop?

  • JustColor

    JustColor said 6 years ago

    What a wonderful article. Loved reading about the history of your art and where it came from. Beautiful, intricate work.

  • sunkae

    sunkae said 6 years ago

    ***Wow nice native work!***

  • CuteCraftDecor

    CuteCraftDecor said 6 years ago

    very great story!

  • CoolStuffByDesign

    CoolStuffByDesign said 6 years ago

    Love the article! Thanks for sharing Mabel's story.

  • PineappleHappy

    PineappleHappy said 6 years ago

    She reminds me so much of my Grandma. She was a Choctaw and I have a couple of her beaded pieces. Thanks for sharing this Etsy!

  • t8designs

    t8designs said 6 years ago

    by far the best handmade portrait yet. thanks for sharing Mabel!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago

    what an inspiration... lovely handiwork Mabel!

  • leimani

    leimani said 6 years ago

    My grandma was Maude Gaddis,a teacher there long ago. I have pictures of her students and the school from I think 1902. Is there any records from back in the day?Interested in scans of photos ?

  • FavreBijoux

    FavreBijoux said 6 years ago

    Beautiful story. Bookmarking this.

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 6 years ago

    Great film - wonderful story !! Thank you so much for sharing Mabel : )

  • monkeyandsquirrel

    monkeyandsquirrel said 6 years ago

    absolutely beautiful little story... a great reminder to make things because you love the process not receiving the payment!

  • mother8daughter

    mother8daughter said 6 years ago

    Your story is so lovely! The moccasins are amazing! This encompasses the whole energy behind the new etsy shop my mother and I have just opened. I remember my great grandmother, grandmother, my mom and I sitting around a huge blocked out quilt when I was a young girl. My great grandmother quilted by hand until she passed at 97. Mamo, my mother's mom, passed a couple of years ago leaving us her supplies. Together, my mom and I carry on the tradition of crafting, and we now sell some of our items on etsy, using many of these vintage/antique materials. It is so wonderful to see the art of craft carrying on through the generations, and etsy is a huge part of that. Thanks for a wonderful post. We love you Mabel!

  • tiialin

    tiialin said 6 years ago

    Once again, the Handmade Portraits Video has told a maker's love story superbly. It's why I long for the return of Mom and Pop specialty. It's a great reminder about what makes the small business so grand.

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 6 years ago

    Very Beautiful Work. I wish I had the talent. Monica

  • TexaKen

    TexaKen said 6 years ago

    Exquisite work! I love knowing that the "old ways" are being preserved. It is our desire that all the youngsters out there will somehow come to love and respect the simpler times. What a lovely story, and a beautiful lady! Thank you so much!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 6 years ago

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  • terrymillsphoto

    terrymillsphoto said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story, we enjoyed it so much. We love Alaska and would live there if we could. You are a real inspiration to us all, still productive at 91. Good for you.

  • mooshoopork

    mooshoopork said 6 years ago

    as part native myself... i am so drawn to old stories and arts of the different tribes. what a lovely lady and inspiration! thank you for sharing it with us :)

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry said 6 years ago

    This is genuine art that was passed on for generations. A very moving piece of film that I will always keep in my heart! Wonderful work created with heart, soul and spirit. Thank you!

  • thepapermoonstudio

    thepapermoonstudio said 6 years ago

    Love this. The designs are beautiful! Love those Muklucks!

  • blueroompottery

    blueroompottery said 6 years ago

    God bless you!! What a wonderful 91 year old little girl!!! Oh, I wish I can be like you, if I make it to be your age! All my love, Marietta

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 6 years ago

    Such an inspiring article and beautiful beautiful pieces!

  • minouette

    minouette said 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed this film and seeing her beautiful work. Thank you!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    Thank you for highlighting cultural and traditional arts. Etsy is a way to keep this knowledge within our cultures--YEA ETSY!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 6 years ago

    Enjoy the video. What an inspiring story. Mabel's works are just beautiful!

  • EllaJewelry

    EllaJewelry said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! thanks for sharing!

  • CLWPottery

    CLWPottery said 6 years ago

    Mabel was my grandmothers name. she made a lot of my clothing when I was a little girl. It keeps the blues away, she would say. Thank you Mabel for sharing your story with us. You do beautiful work!!

  • SunnyDayDiggs

    SunnyDayDiggs said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful 'Handmade Portrait'!! My family and I live up here in Northern Minnesota on Leech Lake reservation where we are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to learn from and about the Native Ojibwe. Mabel, what an extraordinary woman and inspiration you are. So happy and honored you allowed us a this glimpse of your life. Thank you!! You certainly have made my day brighter...xoxo

  • choctaw

    choctaw said 6 years ago

    This is such a wonderful positive story.Mabel is such a highly skilled artist.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 6 years ago

    I love you Mabel. What a wonderful story and life. You work is lovely. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life with us all.

  • lorenaferreira

    lorenaferreira said 6 years ago

    I am inspired.

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed this video very much :) It's wonderful to get lost in sewing--it's almost a meditation for me. Your work is beautiful, thank you for sharing your talents.

  • valeriephoto

    valeriephoto said 6 years ago

    Wow! Amazing detail! This must take so much patience.

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 6 years ago

    Traditions carry so much more of a story & soul than some cheap mass-produced thing :)

  • JanJat

    JanJat said 6 years ago

    Amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing your talent, vision and creativity. This story makes me think about the incredible, strong women in my family who each loved to create in their own way.

  • MelsMunchies

    MelsMunchies said 6 years ago

    Thank you for this wonderful story- Visiting ANAF right now.

  • daydreamjewels

    daydreamjewels said 6 years ago

    Mabel your work is awesome!!! Lovely story, thanks for sharing :)

  • adessojewelry

    adessojewelry said 6 years ago

    Mabel: outstanding artist! Mabel Pike gives us hope that we will all be crafting for a long time to come. Tara Young, Two Dark Birds and JuliaPott (and others who made this): congratulations on putting together this beautiful and masterful video!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story and lovely work!

  • vintagejane

    vintagejane said 6 years ago


  • outofline

    outofline said 6 years ago

    I love this, beautiful work. What a talent!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 6 years ago

    Beautiful, beautiful workmanship, thanks for sharing your passion for creating and losing yourself in the work. Enjoyed the video and a bit of history, thanks for sharing.

  • jennyleefowler

    jennyleefowler said 6 years ago

    I was just talking with a friend the other day about how the things that are perceived as "modern" often have wonderfully deep roots and that's why they resonate with us so. This resonates with me so. Thank you for this.

  • Agent137

    Agent137 said 6 years ago

    What a amazing handmade portrait.

  • 5orangepotatoes

    5orangepotatoes said 6 years ago

    AMAZING!!!! Mabel, you are so inspiring.

  • BeaumontStudio

    BeaumontStudio said 6 years ago

    What a lovely Portrait! It's also great to see Etsians carrying on the tradition of tanning hides and hand sewing them! Glad to see PahanaHides in the related items!

  • karenmeyers

    karenmeyers said 6 years ago

    what a touching story, I love it.


    LANYARDLADY said 6 years ago

    The beauty and spirit of her work touches my heart. Thanks for sharing Mabel's story.

  • oldnorthstate

    oldnorthstate said 6 years ago

    truly gorgeous beadwork!

  • Shamanwoman

    Shamanwoman said 6 years ago

    An amazing woman. A true inspiration!

  • ClothandPatina

    ClothandPatina said 6 years ago

    What an amazing story! I was so taken I watched the video twice. You can just feel her passion for her work as she is telling her story. So touching and beautiful...thanks so much for sharing.

  • AsLuckWouldHaveIt

    AsLuckWouldHaveIt said 6 years ago

    Mabel is very inspiring & talented!

  • SmoochyBabyDesign

    SmoochyBabyDesign said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • AldenArts

    AldenArts said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful and creative soul!

  • efratdeutsch

    efratdeutsch said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I really enjoy this video and I wish it was longer :) Beautiful work, Efrat

  • hattieshouse

    hattieshouse said 6 years ago

    Mabel I would love nothing more than to sit with you over a cup of tea, watch you create, and listen to your stories of wisdom. Alaska is such a magical place and you are part of the magic! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • brinnet

    brinnet said 6 years ago

    Loved this video. It was nice to see someone who wasn't exclusively an Etsy seller featured. You know I love Etsy, but it really makes me believe that Etsy is in it for the art (and the heart).

  • jackandjillwedding

    jackandjillwedding said 6 years ago

    Mabel, you are an inspiration...and your work is beautiful. There is such a history and passion behind it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Paper2Roses

    Paper2Roses said 6 years ago

    Yes, an inspirational story, indeed. Thanks for sharing!♥

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Your beading is beautiful. Your work is a tribute to your heritage!

  • lemondropbay

    lemondropbay said 6 years ago

    Your work is amazing! You truely are a talent to lucky are we to know of you and share in your gift.

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca said 6 years ago

    Oh! Tara! I love her! & what an amazing experience for you, too! Beautiful! Too many exclamation points! Hooray!

  • knottyandnyce

    knottyandnyce said 6 years ago

    Great story Mabel! Your work is absolutely beautiful!

  • estilopronta

    estilopronta said 6 years ago

    She is so adorable. I really admire her. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post. Maru

  • lilpeachcookie

    lilpeachcookie said 6 years ago

    Her work is just too gorgeous, I can't get over how lovely it is! I am also native, but I can't make anything as beautiful as that, such a lovely gift she has!

  • FrancesPhotography

    FrancesPhotography said 6 years ago

    Oh these are gorgeous - amazing that she has been doing this all of her life! What a passion and what a lovely lady! I would love to purchase some of the mocassins!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 6 years ago

    Those Mocc's look so warm and toasty!

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs said 6 years ago

    Beautiful!!! Thanks so much for sharing! ;)

  • buttonarcade

    buttonarcade said 6 years ago

    Gunalchéesh, Etsy!♥ Elders like Mabel are the reason I am a crafter today.

  • itbaus

    itbaus said 6 years ago

    You are so beautiful and your eyes so deep, sharp and full of passion. I want to be like you!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful interview and fine work. She reminds me of my Hawaiian Tutu, grandmother. Love the beautiful features! Aloha

  • Meliscraft

    Meliscraft said 6 years ago

    They are amazing..The culture is very important..We must keep them..

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work, fabulous story its important to keep traditional crafts going otherwise they just get lost in time.

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 6 years ago

    Amazing video and love ,love and love the story and your work !!! Wish i could be like you when i will be 91. Thank you very much for sharing !!!

  • AnnaDenise

    AnnaDenise said 6 years ago

    Great video. What an inspiring woman. So sharp, funny, ant talented. I hope I grow old like that. She reminds me of my grandmother, who makes handmade sewn Christmas cards for all her children and 34 grandchildren. She starts somewhere in the summer to get them all done. It always reminds me of what handmade's really about. About showing your love for people by the attention that someone paid to make a beautiful design.

  • sassefrass

    sassefrass said 6 years ago

    handcrafted Native wares = Priceless Treasures! I absolutely love this article, but not as much as I love those tan mocassin boots :))

  • PixiePod

    PixiePod said 6 years ago

    How wonderful! It is such a natural talent, hope the skills never die and get passed from generation to generation. My Nana taught me a lot of my hand skills, I am so grateful, they keep me sane! xx

  • DSepulveda

    DSepulveda said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing, I agree with her so much when she explains how she feels about her craft and about having to part with one of her creations. Thanks again, very inspirational.

  • CenteredClayWorks

    CenteredClayWorks said 6 years ago

    What a wonderful story - it's so good to hear about people passing their skills to the next generation. And it's inspiring to see that next generation enthused about it. We visited a wonderful little Indian museum between Denver and Estes Park that was loaded down with Indian beadwork. I encourage anyone in the area to visit there.

  • maggiesraggedyinn

    maggiesraggedyinn said 6 years ago

    I would love to sit with this lady and enjoy a cup of tea and conversation. She is a woman with so many stories to tell and her passion is amazing. What a role model for us who strive to create!

  • iluxo

    iluxo said 6 years ago

    A beautiful and intriguing story. Wish I could find her work somewhere online to purchase :)

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 6 years ago

    oh Mabel your work is just so rich and beautiful and the feature was very touching thank you

  • allisonstrine

    allisonstrine said 6 years ago

    What a beautifully created story! The way the portrait was shot and edited is a perfect complement to Mabel's beading history.

  • doveandflower

    doveandflower said 6 years ago

    I'm putting a pair of Mabel's moccasins on the top of my wish list. Such a beautiful lady and a beautiful little short.

  • chickfamilyink

    chickfamilyink said 6 years ago

    glad to see your style back. I really missed the opening music.

  • CarlasFunkyArt

    CarlasFunkyArt said 6 years ago

    How inspirational, and the beading is beautiful! Great story!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 6 years ago

    How beautiful this all is!

  • FranniesHeart

    FranniesHeart said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work. I love this inspirational story.

  • TerraRed

    TerraRed said 6 years ago

    Ohh!!! wonderful gorgeous detail work. it seem so much care has been put into it. Love it!

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work Mabel! This is the best article I've seen on here since I've been a member. Truly inspiring, thanks Tara!

  • grannysthimble

    grannysthimble said 6 years ago

    Mabel, you are an inspiration to all. Thank you for sharing you beautiful work.

  • tfamily5

    tfamily5 said 6 years ago

    Beautiful, simply lovley person. Good luck to you!

  • marysworkshop

    marysworkshop said 6 years ago

    Thank you Etsy for sharing Mabel's story with us. You have touched many hearts today!

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou said 6 years ago


  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work and such an inspiring woman. Great post!

  • TheVintageDesignShop

    TheVintageDesignShop said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing Mabel Pike's story and the lovely beadwork of the Tlingit. :)

  • loveineverything

    loveineverything said 6 years ago

    Beautiful! Very inspiring.

  • SuesCraft

    SuesCraft said 6 years ago

    Beautiful :)

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Mabel, you're an inspiration, & I hope you've passed on your skills to later generations. I was taught woodworking by my Grandfather, starting when I was so small I had to stand on a lemonade crate to reach the workbench... I sure hope I'm still going strong when I'm 91!

  • extase

    extase said 6 years ago

    what a wonderful portrait! beautiful work by a lovely and inspiring woman.

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 6 years ago

    Lovely film, and such beautiful work! That would be great if Mabel would open an Etsy shop!

  • FlowerGlassArt

    FlowerGlassArt said 6 years ago

    A great video. It shows the passion which Mabel gives into her works. Loved it!

  • momomadeit

    momomadeit said 6 years ago

    truly wonderful story... too bad more heritage isn't passed down this way. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • pillowfactory

    pillowfactory said 6 years ago

    i just lose myself in it.. this is so beautiful, thank you!

  • DebsWhimsicalDesigns

    DebsWhimsicalDesigns said 6 years ago

    Such a fantastic story - I wanted to hear more! Her work is truly an art!

  • Sofix

    Sofix said 6 years ago

    wow. this is amazing work! I hope you doing good. Good luck.

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    You know, sometimes these videos give me the warm little willies...THIS was one of them. Thank you Mabel Pike for doing what you do! ~C.L. Hildebrandt

  • AnnieofBlueGables

    AnnieofBlueGables said 6 years ago

    Did all her articles sell after this video? I tried to purchase a pair and cannot find her ANYWHERE on this site.

  • Tsoniki

    Tsoniki said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this! I love being able to see Native elders tell their stories. To the previous poster looking to buy - you can buy her things through the Heritage Center online shop.

  • maclancy

    maclancy said 6 years ago

    Mabel you are AMAZING! thanks for the article Tara!

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 6 years ago

    I want to be doing what I love when I am 91 too. Such an inspiration. I too was passed along some gifts of creating. Beautiful work.

  • Donauluft

    Donauluft said 6 years ago

    So heartwarming! this is what I call creative flow! Thanks for sharing this wonderful portrait!

  • FoxAndClover

    FoxAndClover said 6 years ago

    Thank you for showing us your beautiful Tlingit craftwork Mabel. Big respect to you. I would love to see more traditional and native work on Etsy. Good luck and best wishes!

  • HazelHoney

    HazelHoney said 6 years ago

    I love that something so simple makes her days complete. I want to go bead now!

  • laurastark

    laurastark said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I think it is so important that we see these traditions that might be lost. It's also great to hear the voice of an elder artisan. Thanks!

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 6 years ago

    Mabel's moccasins are breathtaking. Thank you for sharing Ms. Pike and her art with us!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful video, thank you for sharing your spirit.

  • BlkSheepProductions

    BlkSheepProductions said 6 years ago

    Thank you Mabel for being a true artisan and thank you Etsy for promoting her work. We really appreciate being able to learn about all of the different people that access this site.

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work . You can tell she loves what she makes.

  • FoundVintageStyle

    FoundVintageStyle said 6 years ago

    This must be what keeps her so young- FANTASTIC! Very, very inspiring. My grandmother painted her whole adult life- I hope to be able to be creative forever as well. Thank you for the lovely portrait of this talented, remarkable woman.

  • handmaderomance

    handmaderomance said 6 years ago

    gorgeous! i hope im still (capable of) creating at 91. thank you mabel for sharing your story with us. heres to getting lost in creative work : )

  • Portraitss

    Portraitss said 6 years ago

    A very beautiful story and moccasins also. Portraits

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    AutumnLeavesJewelry said 6 years ago

    Eyak clan I love you!!! By far this is etsy's classiest blog entry!!!

  • thetailorsstories

    thetailorsstories said 6 years ago

    Really really great article. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf said 6 years ago

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet Mabel and work with the folks at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation. Presently Mabel does not have an Etsy shop because she doesn't own a computer! But you can find her work and other Native made work at And you can search Etsy for Native American work as well...

  • irisbiran

    irisbiran said 6 years ago

    So beautiful and exciting to explore an art& culture that's far away from me, and it's also gives me a king of warmth to see Mabel creating it.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Mabel - you're an inspiration! Again proving, the old ways are the best ways. Peace to you.

  • camilita

    camilita said 6 years ago

    I was so inspired by Mebel!!! Not only the story behind her creations, but the fact that she, herself told us about it. I want to be like her when I get to be her age. It's so nice that you (Etsy) will bring such a beautiful story of some one that doesn't even have an Etsy shop ! Good for you Etsy!

  • camilita

    camilita said 6 years ago

    Sorry....typo...Mabel !

  • WorldStudio

    WorldStudio said 6 years ago

    Beautiful, thank you!

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 6 years ago

    Gorgeous work!

  • MariesFiber

    MariesFiber said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article, very creative and clever. Thank you!

  • TheScarletSageTree

    TheScarletSageTree said 6 years ago

    I'm so glad I stumbled on this precious article - Mabel, your work is so very beautiful, and what makes it even more lovely is the heritage it's steeped in - an art that you learned from your grandma, and that you too are sharing with newer generations...heartwarming :) You must start an Etsy shop if you haven't already! May you continue to create, inspire, shine!

  • CandleSeries

    CandleSeries said 6 years ago

    Beautiful piece of art! Very inspiring for me. Wishing her got good health, so she can create more and more beautiful works. Cheers! (^^)_v


    ZULYA said 6 years ago

    Perfect job!

  • Danideng

    Danideng said 6 years ago

    So beautiful work!! thanks a lot !

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts said 6 years ago

    What a beautiful person Mabel is and what a wonderful story - I am starting to save up for a pair of those moccasins! I can't even imagine owning something made with that kind of skill and passion!

  • nfractal

    nfractal said 6 years ago

    I loved the video so beautiful thank you!

  • EmmaLamb

    EmmaLamb said 6 years ago

    Wonderful portrait, one of my favourites... Thank you... :)

  • angeliqueshome

    angeliqueshome said 6 years ago

    I really love your work Mabel, I enjoy the traditional & non traditional work from my native New Zealand I can see similarties. This is how I would like to be when I am 90!!!

  • OliveLongstocking

    OliveLongstocking said 6 years ago

    Mabel. you truly are a gem and an inspiration ! I would love to learn your craft. May you continue to do what you love.

  • jill2day

    jill2day said 6 years ago

    thank you Mabel.

  • GreenCleanToys

    GreenCleanToys said 6 years ago

    Mabel has a beautiful spirit! Thank you for sharing! LOVE your work!

  • gigantour

    gigantour said 5 years ago

    her life is expressed through her work and Mabel's work is beautiful. Mabel shows that we are capable of so much at every age. I too hate to part with finished pieces.

  • 1900sBride

    1900sBride said 5 years ago

    Mabel I enjoyed your feature so much. When I was a little girl and I am 60 grandparents brought back seal skin beaded moccassins from a vacation and I'm thinking it was Alaska. I remember I thought they looked like animals because they used real animal fur on them, but they kept them at the side of their bed and used them every morning when walking on the cold floors. Thank you for bringing back a memory for me and your work is so beautiful and now I see why they brought home moccassins as a useful gift from Alaska...

  • ThrowbackReflections

    ThrowbackReflections said 5 years ago

    Thank you for showing your lovely crafts. You remind me of my grandma. You a such a sweet lady ! So beautiful.

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops said 5 years ago

    Beautiful work.

  • SpiritedWoodland

    SpiritedWoodland said 5 years ago

    Love this piece - I made sure to share. Beyond inspiring... I also watched several times...

  • stacymyjane

    stacymyjane said 5 years ago

    Wonderful, heartwarming piece! Inspiring and I love Mabel's passion! She reminds me SO much of my grandmother, looks like her too! Thanks so much for sharing this and reminding us that we need to preserve our culture!

  • bertazimdars

    bertazimdars said 5 years ago

    On this snowy day in Minnesota, you and your story have made my heart smile. Thank you for your work.

  • HihloStudio

    HihloStudio said 5 years ago

    I'm so glad I saw this today. It really warmed my heart to see Mabel's story. She is such an inspiraiton.

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle said 4 years ago

    Wonderful to see this!

  • megk8199

    Megan Morris from MadebyMegShop said 4 years ago

    Thank you for bringing this back and sharing this beautiful woman and her work with those of us who may have missed it the first time around. My thoughts and prayers are with this wonderful woman's family.

  • AnnaBear200

    Anna Woehling from JewelsByAnna said 4 years ago

    That's is absolutely amazing. I want a pair of those moccasins! And she is 91! God bless her

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    Mabel was a truly inspiring lady, she will be sorely missed.

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 4 years ago

    this is a heartwarming feature ~ her quality shines in both spirit and craft

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    You're so cute as well as your work and story! :)

  • DirtyRedBandanna

    Chelsea Palmer from DirtyRedBandanna said 4 years ago

    I love this beautiful tender story. Thank you.

  • lkmccray

    Linzee from lkmccray said 4 years ago

    Oh, to be losing yourself in the work you love at age 91! What a wonderful film about a person who is a role model on many levels. Thank you for reminding us of Mabel.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Wonderful lady with incredible talent! Beautiful work!

  • PlumeandPetals

    Cynthia from PlumeandPetals said 4 years ago

    What a wonderful story! It is truly a heart warming feature.

  • jbeaudet

    Jennifer Beaudet from JBeaudetStudios said 4 years ago

    Gorgeous work Mabel! This is the best article I've seen on here since I've been a member. Truly inspiring, thanks Tara! This is the same post I posted a year ago but it's still true!:)

  • RetroRevivalBoutique

    RetroRevivalBoutique from RetroRevivalBoutique said 4 years ago

    Such beautiful work, and such a beautiful tradition too!

  • Arthings

    Margherita from Arthings said 4 years ago

    very sad notice.. Thank you Mabel Pike for your beautiful works!

  • spontaneousreality

    Spontaneous Reality from spontaneousreality said 4 years ago

    Such precious creations from a beautiful soul, thanks for sharing this gem!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Eternal artwork!!!

  • BigBadBuddha

    BigBadBuddha from BigBadBuddha said 4 years ago

    Passion is ageless

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago


  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 4 years ago

    So neat. And so much patience you must have to do such intricate work all the time!

  • Rembrandtrocks

    Celena McMahon from Rembrandtrocks said 4 years ago

    How incredibly Beautiful-We MISS you already Mabel! I even love your precious Name as it is a reminder of worlds past and precious. My own Grandpa lived til he was 95- which is a long time and he too was an artist and did waddling on Wood! Love the unique article. We miss you Mabel may your work carry on!! Rembrandtrocks! Rembrandtrocks!

  • funnydays

    funnydays from funnydays said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article and work!

  • Kaylawave

    Kayla Jurgens from waterandroots said 4 years ago

    I am Tlingit and was extremely proud when this was posted a year ago. Everyone in the Alaskan community are so sad we lost someone with such knowledge. She taught many!

  • madebyVanda

    Handmadeby Vanda from madebyVanda said 4 years ago

    Wonderful :)

  • ahiparagirl

    Rachelle from ahiparagirl said 4 years ago

    She reminds me of my grandmother who worked with her hands as well. I am very sad to hear of her loss, our loss (the world) but also inspired that she made an impact and grateful it was captured for the world to see. Her life was a gift she used wisely. Thank God for women like Mabel. x

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 4 years ago

    Very inspiring and beautiful video and article!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 4 years ago


  • cousinpatty

    Pat Kennedy from cousinpatty said 4 years ago

    How wonderful! What a talented lady and I do understand how she hates to part with her creations. I think I put a little piece of myself into every one I make as well. Happy Beading Mabel!

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 4 years ago

    Love all the details. You're terrific, Mabel!

  • mehndiart09

    Fauzia from mehndiart09 said 4 years ago

    Sad to hear she passed away. How wonderful that she shared her talent with so many.

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami said 4 years ago

    Beautiful works!

  • brainfart

    brainfart said 4 years ago

    Beautiful Mable ! I am so proud of my heritage ! I am Northern Mountain Maidu.Her voice and speech pattern reminded me of my late Mom . Her silver hair and the picture of her and husband on the wall my dad was navy. Her beautiful dark eyes . I never met Mable but I fell she was a very wise Elder, and also a true artist . Lovely beading , My heart goes out to her family and friends may peace be with you ! Remember we are all connected . Good Bye Mable !

  • schneidersarah

    Sarah Schneider from Quelquepart said 4 years ago

    What a beautiful art! I would love to have that much patience to complete such masterpieces.

  • gypsumrose

    Levi Emerson from gypsumrose said 4 years ago

    gorgeous! inspiring story, i loved it :) the deep history of her craft leaves me in awe <3

  • kimmchi

    Kimm Alfonso from kimmchi said 4 years ago

    oh, so moved by this, she reminds me of every woman who has taught me how to make things with my hands for the past 37 years, the focus, passion and love is all there! I'm so sorry for her passing.

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage said 4 years ago

    This touched my heart and as a person of Native heritage, I am so happy to see this etsy feature. I feel her work and place in her culture will be continued through the generations she taught and inspired just like those before her. Her hands were amazing to watch, great video!

  • bhangtiez

    Jana from bhangtiez said 4 years ago

    Lovely story............thank u so much for sharing it with us!

  • cabinwindows

    Patti from cabinwindows said 4 years ago

    I wish her a safe journey to the other side..her beadwork is amazing..especially love the mocs with the shooting star flowers on them Chi Miigwech (many thanks) for this blog about such an amazing elder

  • RollingHillsVintage

    Anita from RollingHillsVintage said 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this touching story. What a beautiful person!

  • AlternativeJournals

    Celine from AlternativeJournals said 4 years ago

    She is great :)

  • Apseed

    Ira from Apseed said 4 years ago

    It inspired me very much! And It's truly sad to her she passed away.

  • MomsantiquesNthings

    Janine from MomsantiquesNthings said 4 years ago

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Mabel's family for their loss, her passion for her talent are clearly seen in the detail and beauty of her work, she was and still is an inspiration for many.

  • SoulfulStuff

    Karynlee Awianidv Berstecher from SoulfulStuff said 4 years ago

    Wado/sgi (thank you in Cherokee) for being such a bright light and quiet inspiration to us all, Mabel! Tohidv (peace) and prayers to Mabel's family and friends....she will live on in your love and her breathtakingly beautiful work! Wado to ETSY for taking the time to re-post this....the elders are a precious gift to us and we must continue to re-member all the wisdom they have shared.

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry said 4 years ago

    sad news, but her amazing story will live on...

  • sewlola

    lola from dearvintagecupboard said 4 years ago

    Beautiful story and work. Very inspiring!

  • dekoprojects

    Aneta from dekoprojects said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article. Thanks to Twitter I am here. I was curious about the person and now I am suprised. The age doesn't matter. But I think we, people of civilisation, are destined to forget a big part our culture. History already shows it.

  • TheFeltingPenguin

    Jenny from TheFeltingPenguin said 4 years ago

    Touching and uplifting ... thank you for sharing your story Mabel.

  • SkyBlueAngel

    SkyBlueAngel said 4 years ago

    wow, leaves me breathless! So inspirational...

  • noradaily

    Norajuku from NORAJUKU said 4 years ago

    Awesome! Mabel was a beautiful woman & a true inspiration.

  • BohemianCowboy

    Garry Garrison from BohemianCowboy said 4 years ago

    bless her heart and soul her talents and knowledge will be missed

  • CopperheadCreations

    Sarah from CopperheadCreations said 4 years ago

    This is beautiful. What a cool woman.

  • noponcho

    Lyndsay Kotalik said 4 years ago

    Mabel made my mother's seal skin slippers almost 30 years ago. The bottoms were replaced with cow hide about ten years ago but with almost daily wear they are nearly always complimented. Mine are 15 years old and nearly perfect. Mabel also volunteered in Anchorage schools and taught me bead embroidery in mr. Little's 3rd grade class. I think of her almost daily (my feet get cold a lot) she will be missed terribly.

  • vicitra vero said 4 years ago

    cuanto amor,DIOS LA TENGA EN SU GLORIA

  • DeLuka

    DeLuka from DeLuka said 4 years ago

    Peace be with her. I loved her shop and always wanted a pair of her moccasins. I pray that her talent and cultural heritage has spread among her peers and will live on.

  • ezliving

    ezliving from ezliving said 4 years ago

    So beautiful! and thank you! for showing us your lovely work crafts!

  • akinto

    cindy santos from akinto said 4 years ago

    she is an amazing woman, her passion for her craft is very inspiring and worth emulating!

  • Zalavintage

    Zane Saracene from Zalavintage said 4 years ago

    Mabel leaves us with her treasures and spirit... makes me sad to realize just how much we are losing as a society when we waste our dollars on disposable fashion that someone says is what you should wear right now and then we just toss at the end of the season because it's made so poorly and look what we could be owning instead, living history and gorgeous comfort!

  • HanaKratochvil

    Hana Kratochvil, HK Silk from HanaKratochvil said 4 years ago

    Touching and uplifting. Thank you so much for sharing this touching story. HK

  • ShannonLTalton

    Shannon L Talton from ArtNSilk said 4 years ago

    My grandmothers were both seamstresses and this makes me think of them. I remember how painful their old hands looked when the sewed. I wonder what happened to Gma M's treadle singer sewing machine.

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