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Bandolier (Shoulder) Bag

Bandolier (Shoulder) Bag

1880s?

Plain weave cotton, twill weave wool, velvet, plaited wool binding, wool tassels, glass beads

Average: 107.3 x 33 cm (42 1/4 x 13 in.)

James Albert and Mary Gardiner Ford Memorial Fund 1982.61

Description

Inspired perhaps by British ammunition pouches, bandolier bags evolved from smaller native bags to become one of the flashiest, most important items of Woodlands formal attire during the 1800s. Europeans introduced floral motifs to Woodlands imagery, but artists’ enthusiastic response suggests the motifs struck a chord in native thought, which holds plants to be animate and powerful. This example features blueberries, literally “soul food” that refreshes the spirit of the living and the dead, and alludes to new seasonal growth.

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