Noah Pino Coffee
Fully Beaded Coffee Can by Noah Pino
Hokian Win McCloud
Published in Whispering Wind Magazine issue #320
I was so impressed with a recent submission to this year's Santa Fe Indian Market that I wanted to learn more about the project and the reasoning behind someone beading an entire coffee can. Here are a few things I learned about the project:
The submission piece was hand-constructed by the talented artist Noah Pino (Inhanktowan Dakota/ Dine') from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, which is near Fort Peck, Montana. Avis Charley (Dakota/ Dine'), (see @Avischarley,) a sought after and featured Native American Ledger artist, said this about Noah; "Noah is young and open about dialogue advice on self-improvement which always been a favorite topic of mine. We discuss ideas, academic goals, creative and business endeavors. We discuss cultural and current happenings that have led to the inspiration of whatever project we are working on. He has an old soul that is soothing to visit and share a laugh with."
When I met Noah last year I was impressed with his mellow vibe and love for art. When I asked Noah what kind of artist he would call himself, he stated, "I would call myself a Dakota artist, but, I am also Dine' and I do pay tribute to that as well by incorporating white string in all my pieces to symbolize the yarn. I grew up with my Mother's side my whole life which is Dakota"
Noah is currently a Senior at the Institute of American Indian Arts, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Noah will graduate this Fall and is studying to be a Curator. In school, his area of focus is Museum Studies. Mr. Pinos told me, "I plan to go home (Fort Peck Indian Reservation) to start a tribal museum/cultural center and work with bigger institutions to retrieve what is ours and tell our own stories." As a side note at powwows Noah dances Chicken which mimics the style of the prairie chicken or sage grouse.
The beaded article is a fully beaded Tim Horton's coffee can. This is Noah's first beaded container and he mentioned that with some of his previous beaded pieces his customers put his items to use. Noah's inspiration to bead the coffee can is from the overall love of coffee in Indian country. He was also inspired by the early reservation era when rations were first given out. Noah stated, "Coffee was something new given to us and now it's incorporated into our everyday lives whether that be ceremony, powwow, rodeo, stick game, home, work etc.. "
As the author of this post when I see things like hawk bells, (read more at https://www.crazycrow.com/site/hawk-bells-from-european-falconry-to-american-trade-goods/ ), wool trade cloth and ribbon attached to beaded articles, I find it very appealing. If you look closely at the spoon handle you will notice the addition of some flat sequins. Noah has made me a fan using random bead arrangements on his wraps and the bottom of the can. When Noah asked if the appeal of a mixed-style of beading was to use up left over beads he replied, "The mix bead style is an old style of beading that our Dakota people and the Ojibwa people used. It's been a long time since our Dakota people have used it and I have not seen anybody using it. About three years ago I started to use the mixed bead style and brought it back to the Fort Peck area. Lately I have started to see mixed beads everywhere."
The can is wrapped in Noah's preferred super soft smoked buffalo hide and is adorned with antique greasy beads, earth paints, complete with fringe. Noah uses Italian beads on the detail areas, mixed bead sections and the flat stitch borders. "Craig Jones, a contributor to Whispering Wind magazine and co-owner of Teton Trade Cloth, noted how nice and flat Noah's beadwork is and stated that it is a testament to how many hours Noah has dedicated to beading. The back of the lid and the inside of the can is lined with cloth.
Buffalo fur is on the rim at the bottom and on the antique metal spoon and vintage glass stir rod. Noah used as much buffalo parts as he could because he said, "Dakota/Lakota/Nakoda people, are a buffalo nation. The buffalo teaches us values and provide for us. We never waste. I wanted to show my love and thanks for the buffalo nation. I love my people, my culture and who I am as a young Dakota/Dine' man in today's modern world."
The beaded glass rod is an antique glass (swizzle) stir rod from the early 1900s. For his thread he uses both nylon and sinew. In regards to the hand-cut fringe, some of the tips are dyed in red earth paint to give it a "pop". Noah stated that he likes red earth paint because it signifies how coffee goes with our culture today. There is nothing sacred about coffee, but it seems to have a hand in our everyday lives."
Noah is currently working on more beaded projects for future exhibits which will also be fully beaded, and we can't wait to see them.