The Beads


Midwest Men’s Festival has a deep rooted respect for those that join Festival each year, for acts of service, for our culture, and for the land festival inhabits. That respect is reflected in The Beads – a string of symbols maintained by the Bead Tender and displayed on the altar.

The following is an excerpt from the 2022 Bead Tender’s Guide and is attributed to three Bead Tenders, past and current.

The MMF Beads came into being from an idea of The Widow Engstrom’s and through the desires and contributions of others in a series of Bead Circles held at MMF 2000. Our vision was to create a talisman that would embody the energy, symbols, and memories of our community and that would represent a collective creative effort. Our hope is that participants in future festivals will bring beads to add to this talisman to represent the Ancestors, the Mysterious Ones, and the places at Gaea they wish to honor. Just as each year our circle of community is created anew, also each year, new beads will be added to the circle of beads to renew and to nurture this embodied magick of our community.

You can find more about The Beads, including images, guides, explanations, and prayers, here (external DropBox link).