Keri started working with leather and tanning hides at the age of nine. Over the years, she has developed her skills working with authentic materials using traditional techniques to create museum quality historical reproductions of the Native American Indian and the Fur Trade era.
For the Western Design Show, utilizing her talent with traditional materials and techniques, Keri has created a contemporary line of fashion and accessories. Inspired by American history and authenticity, Keri’s designs are original, stylish, and equally appropriate for private collection or to wear for an important occasion or casual evening out.
Professionally, Keri is a successful entrepreneur. She founded Teresis Media Management Inc. in 2003, Terescription in 2005, and Wind River Trading in 2010. She currently has three software patents filed in six countries. She and her husband Tom reside with their two dogs, Kuma and Kaya, in Irvine, California.
Painted Bison Rawhide Purse
This purse combines both art with fashion. It was made using the traditional materials and methods of the Native American's but in the contemporary form and style of a modern purse. The purse is made from Bison rawhide that was made by hand using the same traditional methods as the Native Americans. It was painted with earth pigments mixed with hide glue and applied with sharpened sticks and buffalo rib bone brushes. The paint is sealed with prickly pear cactus juice.
The sides are hand stitched with brain tanned deer hide lace. The closure utilizes two matching deer antler tip buttons. The strap is made from braided buffalo rawhide covered with brain tanned deer. The strap cover is sewn with elk back strap sinew.
The strap is 21” and the dimensions of this purse are 12”x 5”x 3”.
Hand scraped Bison rawhide is only available today in very limited quantities. This is a one of a kind piece and is signed by the artist Keri DeWitt.
Elk Parfleche Hand Painted Purse
This purse combines both art with fashion. It was made using the traditional materials and methods of the Native American's but in the contemporary form and style of a modern purse. The purse is made from Elk parfleche that was brain tanned using the same methods as the Native Americans. It is softer than rawhide, but not as soft as fully tanned leather. It was painted with earth pigments mixed with hide glue and applied with sharpened sticks and buffalo rib bone brushes. The paint is sealed with prickly pear cactus juice.
The fringe flap, strap, and lace are all brain tanned deer skin. Antique trade beads are sewn with real elk sinew on the flap. The fringe on the flap is wrapped with dyed porcupine quills.
The holes for stitching were burned in with a hot nail to prevent them from tearing out. The closure uses a deer antler tip button. The strap is 21“ and the dimensions of this purse are 9”x7”x1”.
Handmade Elk parfleche is only available today in very limited quantities. This is a one of a kind piece and is signed by the artist Keri DeWitt.
Brain tanned leather has been used for clothing for centuries. It is superior in quality to all commercial leather. It is stronger, breathes better, doesn't pick up body odor, and can be washed in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Of course you must remove any decorations before washing.
The shirt displayed here is an example of what can be made to order. It is made from brain tanned deer and hand laced. There is six inch hand twisted fringe over each shoulder and under both arms.
You can order the shirt by itself or with various types of decoration. The shirt shown has two neck flaps, one on the front and back made from red wool trade cloth, 8/0 pony beads, and horse hair drops. The bead work is sewn on with real elk sinew. This shirt is also shown with the "leg" strips, two on the front and two on the back. These have very short 1" fringe and 1" fringe cut around the bottom of the shirt.
Also shown are optional beaded strips. These or similar types can be made. Please contact me directly for customization. All bead work is done with 8/0 pony beads in traditional colors and sewn with real elk sinew.
The price is for a shirt like the one displayed. If you need XXL or more or less decorations, the price will be different.
This item requires 4-6 weeks delivery. Items may vary from what is pictured depending on the character of the leather and decorations.
Brain Tanned Walnut Dyed Capri Pants
Buckskin pants never looked better! Check out this modern fashionable interpretation. Brain tanned, walnut dyed, and silk lined. These pants are super soft and fit like a glove. They are machine sewn and close with a zipper and hook clasp at the waist. Please include your measurements in the notes of the order. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Plus sizes over a womens size 12 add 20%.
Each item may vary from what is pictured depending on the character and color of the leather.
Sterling Silver Engraved Tokens
These are the perfect gifts to give someone special. These hand made sterling silver engraved tokens are meant to inspire and encourage. Carry them around in your pocket or add them to our Antique Trade Bead Neck Pouch. Pick from the following engravings.
Hope, Forgiveness, Christian Fish Symbol, Peace, Truth, Courage, Trust, Strength, Love, Sister, Brother, Friend!
Price is dependent on the current price of silver and may require 4-6 weeks delivery.
Antique Trade Bead Necklace
Beads were brought to the America's by European traders in small quantities for centuries. Lewis and Clark brought with them small supplies of beads to trade with the Native Americans on their epic journey across the United States in 1804. The Hudson Bay Company also introduced beads into trading on a small scale. However, it wasn't until 1848, that Stephen A Frost started a little company that would in time become the largest importer and distributor of beads in America and over seas. Spanning over a century, Stephen and his son Dan imported beads from Venice, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Italy and sold them to traders, explorers, and Native Americans. Their success lead to their relocation of their corporate headquarters to New York City in the 1870s and an exhibition at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904.
With only a few exceptions, the coyote tooth, bison tooth, copper tubes, bone tubes, nearly every bead on this necklace dates back to the 1800's. It is a sampling of some of the most popular beads and colors that were traded to the Native Americans.
Many of these beads are getting hard to find. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. They are not being reproduced. The six strands are strung in a contemporary design on artificial sinew (waxed linen threads). The longest strand is approximately 24". Own a piece of history that was central to American expansion and entrepreneurism!
Plains Indian Style Knife Sheath
Here is a Native American Indian style knife sheath. The inner sheath is made from brain tanned bison and the outer sheath is brain tanned deer. All the bead work is done with 10/0 seed beads and sewn with real elk sinew. The quill dangles are optional.
I prefer not to do the same design twice, so the beading will be different than the item shown. The knife in the picture is NOT included with this order. Please specify the overall length of your knife with the order.
Bison "tipi" Leather Messenger Bag
Here's a new interpretation of a Messenger Bag. It is smaller in size, perfect for an iPad or small computer and your essentials such as wallet, keys, and phone. This leather is essentially "tipi" leather. The Native American's skinned the buffalo in such a way that when it was in the frame, they would sew the legs back together with real sinew forming an overall trapezoid shape of the hide. This maximized the surface area of the hide for use in making tipis. This bag has part of one of those seams showing in its flap as well as the holes in the edge where it was in the tanning frame. The natural tie is decorated with rare antique trade beads and tin cones.
This bag is all hand made from hand tanned, brain tanned, all natural bison leather. The seams are all welted and are sewn with waxed linen thread. The adjustable strap is double thickness to prevent stretching. The buckle is hand forged. Overall dimensions: 12"x9" with a 1.5" gusset.
This bag is made to order and requires 4-6 weeks delivery. There will be slight variances to what is shown given the natural differences in leather and availability of beads and buckles.
Tack Belt With Hand Forged Buckle
This belt looks great with jeans. It's made from harness leather with over 500 tacks. The pattern is based on an old Blackfoot belt. The buckle is hand forged. Size S-M-L. Please specify your waist measurement when you place your order. Belts may very slightly from what is pictured based on the leather, size, and tacks. Please allow 4-6 weeks delivery.
Beaded Panel Belt
Inspired by the beaded panel belts of the Crow, Nez Pearce, and Plateau Tribes from the late 19th century, this belt is hand beaded with waxed linen thread. the buckle is hand forged. It looks great with jeans!
Please specify your waist measurement when you order and allow 4-6 weeks delivery.