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Chippewa

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Chippewa Artist



Gloves, c. 1890
Beads on leather
x 12 3/16 in. ( x 31 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Leatherworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2038
Soft buckskin gloves, beaded on one side with multi-colored floral designs. Yellow and blue checkered squares on the fingers, and a blue and yellow striped band in middle.

Materials
glass beads and leather

Commentary
In the 1870s, Native American artist began adding beadwork to manufactured items used in both Native and non-Native communities. That is the case with these gloves richly embellished with beaded floral designs by an Ojibwe artist. Floral designs in beadwork may have gained traction because the motifs were accessible to Natives and non-Natives. Part of an elaborate Victorian design vocabulary, flowers signified femininity and beauty. Native Americans could adapt this visual vocabulary to signify their connection to nature and to reinforce their cultural identity and beliefs. Entrepreneurial Native artist found an eager market among non-Native settlers and collectors for clothing and housewars decorated with floral designs.

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