Nez Perces cornhusk bag

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mc2013a_ed1.jpg
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Nez Perces cornhusk bag

0.01

cornhusk, dyed cornhusk, twine and hemp

10" wide x 11" tall to the top of the bag, 17" tall including the handles

circa 1900

ex: Richard C Pankow Collection; Sotheby's 1996; Private Collection

$2200.

(mc2013)

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This Nez Perces bag is very finely woven and it is in excellent condition. Each side is very appealing aesthetically: one side woven in purple and indigo blue hourglasses with inner stacked bars of natural and reddish-dyed fibers and the other side exhibiting an 8-pointed star with a stacked diamond in the center, flanked by the purple and reddish triangles. Beautiful.

The Nez Perces were migratory people who lived in Idaho, Washing 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.