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Beadwork Masterpieces: Native American Bandolier Bags

Late Ojibwe

In the early 1900s Ojibwe artists began to decorate their bags with appliqué decoration and asymmetrical curvilinear floral designs. The veins on leaves are often marked. Usually the background is covered with white beads, and the fill of the floral designs is contoured and often concentric with the shape of the larger element. The appliqué border may be a beavertail but is more likely to be a simple zigzag.

On later bags the bag panel and the panel above the bag become a single design unit. Sometimes the bag opening is reduced to a hand hole or is eliminated. Woven tabs are often absent or replaced with loops of beads.

Ojibwe bag, about 1913
Ojibwe, about 1913

Source: Loan from the Anthropology Division, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln.
[A06238]

Ojibwe family
Studio portrait
of a Mille Lacs Ojibwe family taken around 1912.

Source: Photo by Ross A. Daniels, Minnesota Historical Society,
[order photo] [MHS 7877-A, E97.1/p62]


Ojibwe or Brulé Sioux bag, about 1930
Ojibwe or Brulé Sioux, about 1930

Although it has Ojibwe characteristics, collection records indicate this bag was acquired by Yellow Horse, a Brulé Sioux living on the Rosebud reservation. Perhaps this bag was a trade item or the maker was influenced by the Ojibwe style.
Source: Dr. and Mrs. C. F. Zimmerman Collection, Naper, NE.
[4364-60]

three bags

Ojibwe or Santee Sioux, about 1930

Collection records indicate these three bags were collected from members of the Santee Sioux tribe at Niobrara, Nebraska in the early 1900s, although design elements are characteristic of Ojibwe bags. Perhaps these bags were trade items or the makers were influenced by the Ojibwe style.
Source: B. Y. High Collection, courtesy of Alice Cobb, Santa Barbara, CA.
[8634-260, -160, and -162]

Ojibwe bag, about 1930
Ojibwe, about 1930

Source: Nebraska State Historical Society Collection
[11343-34]

Ojibwe bag, about 1930
Ojibwe, about 1930

Source: Loan from the Anthropology Division, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln.
[A98.03.01]

Ojibwe artists
Ojibwe artists Mr. and Mrs. Jack King in 1931.

Compare the large beaded panels on the bags and the floral vine design on the straps with the bags on exhibit.
Source: Monroe P. Killy, Minnesota Historical Society
[order photo] [MHS 55497, E97.1K/r38]

Ojibwe or Winnebago bag
Ojibwe or Winnebago, Late 1800s

Although acquired from a Winnebago individual, stylistic elements of this bag seem Ojibwe in origin. Perhaps this bag was a trade item or the maker was influenced by the Ojibwe style.
Source: Mrs. Fred N. Wells, Lincoln.
[8929-1]

Ojibwe or Omaha bag
Ojibwe or Omaha, about 1903

Although acquired from an Omaha family, stylistic elements of this bag seem Ojibwe in origin. Perhaps this bag was a trade item or the makers were influenced by the Ojibwe style.
Source: W. H. H. Pilcher, Wittier, CA.
[9045-29]



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Last updated 4 February 2005  

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