Creating and wearing articles of dress and formal clothing is an important means of cultural expression among Native American people. This elaborately decorated pouch, with a broad shoulder strap, was worn as part of an ensemble for ceremonial and social events. The method of double-weft bead weaving, requiring the use of a box loom, quickly became the most popular technique employed throughout the Great Lakes and is still used today.
Artist Chippewa, Native American
Title
  • Shoulder Bag
Date ca. 1850
Medium wool fabric and yarn, cotton fabric and thread, silk ribbon and tassels, glass beads
Dimensions Overall: 29 × 7 1/8 inches (73.7 × 18.1 cm)
Overall (pouch): 10 7/8 × 7 1/8 inches (27.6 × 18.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase
Accession Number 81.78
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Native American S130, Level 1 (see map)
Inscriptions Inscribed on front of bag in a beaded panel: BASIN.DASIN
(Forrest Fenn, Fenn Galleries, Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA);
1975, purchased by Richard A. Pohrt [1911-2005] (Flint, Michigan, USA);
1981-present, purchased 1981 by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Penney, David W. Art of the American Indian Frontier: The Chandler-Pohrt Collection. Seattle and London, 1992, cat. no. 38.

Whiteford, A. H. "The Origins of Great Lakes Beaded Bandolier Bags." American Indian Art 11, no. 3 (Summer 1986): 35, fig. 4, (col. ill.).