Nez Perces cornhusk bag

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Nez Perces cornhusk bag

0.01

8 1/4" wide x 9 5/8" tall to the top of the bag; 14 5/8" tall including handles

cornhusk, hemp, string

circa 1900

$950.

(mc2012)

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The colors in this Nez Perces bag have shifted to a softer pallet over time which is often appreciated by our contemporaries. The original colors have remained visible on the inside of the bag because those wools were not exposed to light and air.

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.