Livia Manywounds, an Indigenous designer, artist, crafter and horsewoman, creates one-of-a-kind formal wear from her family ranch on the Tsuut’ina Nation in Treaty 7. She learned to sew in junior high school and was accepted to fashion school in New York, but was unable to attend because of funding.
Her creativity was reignited a few years ago when she became a caregiver for her mother after a cancer diagnosis. “I needed something to do because I had to take time off work,” she says. “I brought out my beads and my needles and started beading and then I started sewing.” Manywounds set herself up by her mom’s bedside and immersed herself in her art. “I started posting things online and soon enough I started getting orders.”
It was during this process of caregiving and creating that Manywounds discovered a path that combined her passion with her roots. She found herself digging in deeper about her history, about who her ancestors were, their stories, the symbolism and the traditions that were passed down. “I like to incorporate where I come from,” she says, carrying on the legacy of her grandmother’s beading and sewing and her grandfather’s designs.
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