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Chippewa Culture

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Chippewa, Sac, or Fox Artist

Bag, late 19th c
Beads on cloth
3 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (9.53 x 13.97 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Sewing
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2167
Flat, rectangular bag with woven beadwork. An anthropomorphic figure and geometric designs on one side, and two central lozenges surrounded by white herringbone on the other. Blue beadwork background. Probably Ojibwa, because the red zoomorphic figure very closely resembles the underground panther motif of Ojibwa twined bags.

Cloth, thread, and glass beads

Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 23-24 (illustrated/bw 23) fig. 27.
Photographed by R.K. Liu for "The Bead Journal," 11/15/76.
See "Art of the Great Lakes Indians, Flint Institute of the Arts," 1973, p. 93.
See also "American Indian Art," Summer 1977.

Square woven in one piece, this bag uses 2 beads between each pair of warp threads instead of the usual one. It appears to have been woven from top to bottom in the round (there are no side seams) and then joined at the bottom very expertly. The only hints of a seam are in the bottom corners, with the beads placed such that they merely suggest that the bottom, not the sides, is where the piece is joined.

Great Lakes weavers originally used shredded bark and other natural materials to fashion small twined bags for household and for ceremonial use. The growing availability of trade goods resulted in the incorporation of wool yarns and glass beads into traditional forms. Complex diagonal designs, often an important element of the weaver's repertoire, were translated in woven beadwork (Conn, 1979, p. 95). The presence of double-warp threads in this bag indicates that it was woven on a heddle loom.

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  • Overall Dimensions: 3 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (9.53 x 13.97 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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