Beaded hat returns to indigenous owner after six years missing

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Six years ago, Lake Superior Bad River Band Member Sue Lemieux lost her beaded hat that she had commissioned to wear at a ceremony. Now she’s been reunited with the hat after its miraculous journey.

“All this time I thought who has that hat?” said Sue.

In the fall of 2020, Anna Neumann opened her bead store in Ashland Wisconsin. She had a family help her with moving her inventory and set up in her new shop. Anna didn’t have any display pieces for her store so the family tipped her off about a local garage sale.

That’s when they found the hat. However they didn’t know it belonged to sue. They thought the owners of the house owned the hat as well.

Neumann says, “They had found the hat in a pile of stuff that was going to be given away out of a state lot that was going to be thrown away… so they gave it to me as a display piece.”

The bead work done on the hat fit perfectly as a display piece in Anna’s bead store.

Anna says that the artist, Daum White, that Sue had commissioned to work on the hat, visited her store Beads to Blooms. There she recognized the hat and told Anna.

“Immediately we contacted the owner of the hat and she recognized the hat right away and both of them were almost in tears”, says Anna.

When Sue got the call she was speechless. “She said ‘look what I found’, and I couldn’t believe it because it was this hat”, says Sue.

Eventually Sue made her way over to the Beads to Blooms and met with Anna and after six years got the hat back that she lost all those years ago.

“That little thing just makes that perfect ripple effect to help that next person and then it just all comes full circle into an event that just transpired the past couple days here”, says Anna, “so you never know what that event is going to be.”