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Mary Neyelle is originally from Wrigley, Northwest Territories. Her parents were also from the Dehcho region although her mother Marie Hansetti had relations in Hay River. She married a Sahtu Mountain Dene man and together they had 8 children and adopted another son.
Mary started beading when she was 11 years old. She was taught by her mother and Aunts in old Fort Wrigley. She started with the techniques of porcupine quills, silk embroidery, moosehair tufting and yarn since seed beads were not readily available at this time (1945) until the Hudson Bay Company Traders came into the Mackenzie River District.
Mary makes moccasins, gauntlets, beaded gloves, beaded moosehide vests, mukluks, scissor cases, needle cases, beaded gun cases, credit card holders, eye glass holders, ponytail holders, watch straps, stroud picture frames, and lots of various uppers.
She likes to check the different assortment of beads and selecting the colors which can coordinate for floral and other designs on uppers or other projects.
Mary and her sister Adele occasionally attend some arts and crafts workshops on birch bark baskets makings in Fort Liard where she learn new techniques. She also attends other arts and crafts workshops and regional Arts festivals.
Some of the trimmings for her projects include beaver fur, rabbit fur, racoon fur and muskrat fur. The one important hide to make items is moose hide. The other hide is caribou hide and stroud in different colors and duffle to make the lining for the inside of mukluks and mitts.
Mary thinks about who will like her finished crafts and who will buy them. Mary always gets requests for gloves, vests, moccasins and other items. She also wishes that she has lots of nice soft traditionally tanned moose hide to work with.