Beaded Ledger Art: Todd Bordeaux

Todd is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. This award-winning, self-taught artist continues to perfect his craft by learning from his father, Ted Bordeaux and his girlfriend Karen Beaver. Among his accolades are awards for Best of Show in 1999 at the Black Hills Art Expo and the Artist Choice Award at Indigenous Peoples Art Market in 2001. Bordeaux boasts 14 awards in seven juried art shows. His jewelry and beadwork art is highly sought after by celebrities and collectors alike.

click pic for close-up

Glass seed beads (size 13 and size 11), nylon thread, felt, cardboard, leather,
antique ledger paper, and acid-free matte.


"Lone Dog"
8 x 13 Beaded Ledger Art
(framed 13 x 17)


Other Items Available
in the
Gallery Area  


Ledger art derives from a tradition that used pictographic codes to keep historical records and serve as mnemonic reminders for storytelling. The pictographs were originally inscribed on rocks and painted on buffalo robes, shields, lodges, and tipis. Warriors painted their historic deeds on their buffalo robes and tipis to designate their positions in the tribe. When U. S. fur companies, settlers, and cavalry destroyed the buffalo herd, the warriors turned to ledger books with balance sheets used to record white profits made from Indian losses.

Soon the warrior-artists started to record council scenes and scenes from daily life on ledger pages to grapple with and interpret their changing condition. The resulting layering reflects the complicated dynamics of Indians going through various stages of traumatic historical change, attempting to preserve their history, resist white authority and power, negotiate tribal and individual identity, and, as the tradition has been adapted by contemporary artists, make political statements.

The most remarkable and important ledger books were produced by Plains Indian warriors imprisoned in Fort Marion Plains Indian warriors imprisoned in Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida, from 1875 to 1878.

Modern artists continue to perpetuate ledger art as a fine art form, capturing and reconnecting with the past through traditional and contemporary mediums. Todd Bordeaux is the first to combine beadwork applique with ledger paper to create a three-dimensional work of art that takes this genre into the 21st century.

Todd finds inspiration from history of the Great Plains and his surroundings at his home near the Little White River in South Dakota. He divides his time between working on his house and land, creating pieces, and attending art shows. His contemporary style of beadwork and mastery of color have won him numerous awards at art shows. His work was included in Changing Hands, Art without Reservation, 2 at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City.

Todd has created an easy to remove frame, allowing the purchaser to customize this work for their own environment.

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