Antique Beaded Iroquois Pouch
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A handsome beadwork pouch made in the late 1800's to early 1900's with an amazing story to tell. There are numerous Iroquois resources for studying this type of work, both the craft and the history of this type of beadwork done by Northeastern tribes. This purse or pouch, like many of these items, shares similar floral motifs along with the double row of white beads that outlines floral areas. They were sometimes worn at the waist like Scottish bags worn with kilts. They may have been made for sale, trade, or personal use.
The pictures tell the beauty of design in this item. There is bead loss to the outline white beads along the edge. It is double sided with the pattern repeated on front and back. The pictures show the two sides. There is the fraying that has occurred to the burgundy binding. This does not affect the overall pattern of the sides of the pouch. The beauty and artistry remains The bag measures approximately 7 inches long and 7 inches wide at the widest point. It measures 6 inches at the bottom and 5 inches across the top.Picture shows a small opening which has binding, a secret or side compartment.
A bag similar to this is pictured on p. 71 of Warman's Native American Collectibles by John Shuman III and is attributed to the Iroquois ca. 1875. A variety of these bags is also pictured on p. 30 of the same book. These are attributed to the Mohawk ca. 1880-1910.