Nez Perces bag with handle

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Nez Perces bag with handle

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5 3/4" wide x 6 1/2" tall to the top of the bag, 11 1/2" tall including the handle

cornhusk, dyed cornhusk, twine and leather

old pink gingham cotton sewn in as lining to the interior of the bag

circa 1890-1910

excellent condition

$1100.

(mc2017)

 

 

 

 

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This is a very finely woven cornhusk bag in impeccable condition. The colors of the dyed ornusk are soft and very pleasing as are the designs, which are a variation of an 8 pointed star with a horizontal bar bisecting the center of the design. This in turn gives movement to the design as well as implying arrows. Clearly a very skilled weaver and artist wove this bag.

The Nez Perces were migratory people who lived in Idaho, Washington and Oregon in the Columbia River plateau. They traded horses to the Plains Indian tribes. Necessarily, all of their possessions had to be easily transported. Bags were carried by men, women and children during ceremonies as well as in everyday life.

Neighboring tribes in the Plateau area made very similar bags, especially the Yakima Indians. Because their bags are difficult to distinguish from those of the Nez Perces, without documentation the Yakima, cornhusk bags are often referred to as being "Nez Perces". The Nez Perces were the largest tribe in the area.