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Ojibwe Artist



Legging Tops, c. 1850
Beads on cloth
9 7/16 in. x 19 5/16 in. (23.97 cm x 49.05 cm)

Creation Place: North America, Native American
Technique: Sewing and beadworking
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Edward H. Angle
Accession Number: P2020a,b
Red wool panels with horizontal beadwork stripes of "otter-tail" design in white, green, blue, and black. Ottertail beading is derived from moose hair/quillwork design. Brown cloth edging. Tops have been chopped off. 1850's side flap.

Materials
glass beads and cloth

Bibliography
Kay Koeninger and Joanne M. Mack, "Native American Art from the Permanent Collection" (Claremont: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1979), 23 (illustrated/bw) fig. 25.
See "Art of the Great Lakes Indians," Flint Institute of the Arts, 1973, p. 31.
See R. Conn (1978) report.
See drawings by Eastman Johnson.

Marks
One of the legging tops has an old, brittle paper label adhered. It is written in faded ink. There are losses, but these words are legible: "Leggins" "Indians" and "1886".

Provenance
Collected in 1886.

Commentary
Representing an old tradition in Great lakes beadwork, delicate bisecting linear designs using overlaid stitching are often called "otter's tail" (Coleman, 1947, pp. 2-4). ALthough floral beadwork was popular, geometric designs like these were often preferred for women's clothing.
-from the Native American Art from the Permanent Collection catalog, 1976

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