Newman Collection - Bags
Pipe Bag, Lakota, Classic, White Background
Very fine example of classic Lakota pipe bag in the style of the 1870s, although this bag probably dates between 1880-1910. The front of the bag, which is bleached due to sun exposure, has an opaque white bead background and two simple, blue-outlined, red triangles with bar designs (kapemni), and equilateral cross designs, both used frequently in early to mid-19th century quillwork. These are only slightly further elaborated with red triangular points added on the bars-- however, the color and addition of the points gives the work a modern appearance. The reverse side has a halved red central diamond, split apart with four blue crosses inserted in the space. Forked, or "full of points" elements, are thus created in the four corners. Upper, unbeaded portion of the bag (the neck) has remnants of a yellow stain. Attached to the neck are two quill-wrapped thongs folded to make four dangles with hawk feathers, bells, tin cones, and horsehair tassels. The opening of the bag is beaded with a selection of beads different from the main bag portion, and it seems to have been made from beads saved from other pieces. A few of the beads are the rarer red with white heart variety. Both sides of the neck have two upright "feather" patterns, and each of those have two tin cones with red-dyed horsehair.
Beneath the bag proper are quill-wrapped slats, typical of Lakota pipe bags of the late 19th and early 20th century. The quills are commercially dyed red with two undyed boxes. Within those boxes are dark center stripes dyed apparently with natural dye, probably wild grape. The lower end of the slats has bead spacers, some missing. Attached to the slats is a fringe of buckskin. the reverse side of the quilled panel is less faded and so suggests the original appearance.
Small woman's beaded U-shaped bag. Outer edge around whole is fringed. Beaded in standard Anishinabe style, with abstracted flower shapes spaced along a stem or vine. The floral shapes are outlined with one or two rows of beads, and then the interior is filled by following the curves laid down. The background is beaded in gold translucent beads. Side one has two heart-shaped flowers of differing colors, a pink three-lobed flower and a medium blue irregular-shaped flower on gold transparent bead background. The whole bag is outlined in blue beads.
Pipe Bag, Lakota Beaded and Quilled, Medium/Dark Blue
This is a classic Lakota pipe bag, made with the usual elongated neck to accommodate the long pipe stem, a central beaded bag portion beaded on both sides, and a pendant quill-wrapped slat panel with fringe.
The beaded panel of this pipe bag is beaded in a simple design, the same on both sides, On a blue background, two triangles are placed peak to peak in an hourglass-like design referred to as kapemni (sometimes translated to whirlwind). With this designs, there is usually a bar or diamond between the points, but this bag has a rectangle between them. The simple breaking up of space has been embellished with small boxes between the main designs, and also within the designs themselves. The background is a bright medium blue, and the designs are black, greasy yellow, white, and just a touch of pink, sometimes called, "rotten meat." The two feather designs (two color elongated diamonds) that rise from the beaded part are of a shape common post-1900.
The neck of this bag is classic, in that it has a band of beadwork, in this case one lane, jointing the opening to the beaded panel along the side where a seam would be. The opening is also beaded, but the palette changes significantly with the addition of green beads in equal amount to the pink. Ordinarily, the rim of the bag is in the same bead color as the rest of the bag. There are several reasons this change might have occurred: the original beadwork might have been damaged, the bag may have been left unfinished until a collector arrived, or no similar beads were available.
The two blue lanes joining the panel to the bag opening are standard and original, as is the quilled, slatted rawhide panel at the bottom. The panel is red with orange boxes that have white, undyed, quilled centers-- all aspects common to Lakota pipe bags. In this case, the orange has been more permanent than the red dye, making it appear darker. The quilled panel has curled due to climate.
This is a classically constructed Lakota pipe bag. The dark blue background can be found on Lakota items made around 1900. The design is kapenmi(whirlwind) variation. The design motif is found on a pipe bag carries by Oglala Chief Little Big Man in a photograph dated c. 1880. The Newman bag has a simple box design on the reverse. The quill-wrapped slats have suffered quite a bit of damage.
Buckskin drawstring bag, fringed. Front has loom beadwork panel. The panel has a border on all sides except the top the top; it also has incomplete design elements, suggesting the panel may have been originally intended for something else. The space above the panel indicated the panel was not reduced to fit the bag. The designs do not have a name, but they are common to Anishnabe sashes. The original description from the Newman Collection lists the design as "vertebra design", but I would hesitate to use that, since it is a term used by Lakota in their work (see Lyford). Below the panel are eight "fingers" that are heddle loomed, using the same colors and beads as the panel. The bead colors are navy, medium green, pumpkin yellow, light and medium green, turquoise blue, and pink. The fingers have alternating red and green wool pompom tassels.
This bag (although Anishinabe) bears some resemblance to what has been identified as a ca. 1885 Potawatomi tobacco bag, in that a solid panel of beadwork (in this case loomed) is attached to a buckskin bag. The earlier bag also has tabs, but they are buckskin. The Potawatomi bag tapers to a narrower opening, and it is not fringed on the sides, giving it a sleeker appearance. Small drawstring bags such as this one are sometimes called women's pipe bags.
Footnote: The heddle-woven tabs, or fingers, on this bag are a feature on many types of Great Lakes bags including bandolier bags and even some pipe bags. Early bags from that area often have similar tabs of hide.
This tiny envelope or folder is a bit of recycled beadwork. The design is not centered, which indicates two things: it is recycled, and it was deliberately made the size it is to contain something of those dimensions. The design is part of the dragonfly design, seen on pipe bags but more commonly on women's leggings. May have been made to hold a ration card, or some other similar item.
Elk hide or deer pipe bag, fully beaded, background greasy yellow. Two tipi designs on each side, worked in red-white hearts, opaque white, medium green, and dark blue. The front (determined by the quillwork) has four green crosses. The reverse has four red-white heart crosses; the red-white hearts on the front are a slightly lighter red than the reverse. The neck has a beaded top edge, and two yellow, two lane strips on each side with "bowtie" designs. The neck has four tin cones with pink-dyed horsehair on each side, and two "feather" designs. Below the bag is a rawhide slatted and quilled panel in commercial hot pink (faded), green (faded), purple, yellow, and white. Below the quillwork is a fringe, the top of which has tin cones with pink horsehair, using red-white hearts as spacers. Red beads separate the slats at the bottom of the quilled panel. The beadwork is beautiful, as is the quillwork, although the overall color effect is somewhat jarring to today's sensibilities. Classic Lakota design and construction.
That this bag belonged to Dewey Beard is noted on the original inventory list. This may or may not be a pipe bag. It does not fit the pattern of pipe bags in terms of size and shape. Most Lakota pipes are long, and this bag is too short for a typical pipe. The beading is not that of a classic Lakota pipe bag, either.
This could very well be the bag of Dewey Beard. The beadwork is minimal, with "D.B" beaded on the front in large letters. Below the letters are two small, blackish beaded circles with three irregular lines radiating from each in red. This stylistic design is a common way to indicate bullet wounds in pictographs and on robes. This is very likely a reference to the two bullet wounds Dewey Beard is known to have received at Wounded Knee, reinforcing the autobiographical aspect of the bag. Dewey Beard was not an English speaker, nor could he read and write, so symbolic representations such as these are understandable. It is possible the bag was used to keep an object or objects associated with that period of his life, in which his parents, wife, child, and brothers were killed. Or it may have held a small pipe the size of one owned by a woman, or used for personal use or traveling.
The back of the bag has two small beaded images of pipes, fueling the argument that this bag was used for a pipe. The lower edges of both front and back have small designs, including a variation of the "feather" design. The fact that few beads are used, and that the designs are made up of "scrap" beads, probably is indicative of the impoverished state of the family.
This is a humble object, which may have priceless historic significance.
Bag, Bandolier, loomed, Anishinabe, blue
Anishinabe bandolier bags are classically made in three parts: the strap, which has different patterns at either half, a cloth panel that hangs from the strap area, and below that panel, a fully beaded panel, with tabs or fringe pendants.
This bag has a wide strap,which is loom beaded in geometric designs and only subtly asymmetrical, in color only, not bead pattern. The beaded strap is sewn to a black velveteen backing. The same material is used for the upper panel of the bag portion. This is a double panel, with the same design above repeated in the lower half of the panel. As typical in Anishinabe bandolier bags(floral and geometric), the design on this panel is floral open spot-stitch. The circles used as part of the floral design, here blue, are very old design elements among the Anishinabe, predating floral work. The loomed lower portion of the bag has the eight pointed star repeated five times, in two identical horizontal rows. The star pattern is a common one in Anishinabe loomed beadwork, but it is also used extensively by others, notably Potawatomi. Research indicates that the star, in particular, is a carry over and modernization from finger woven sash motifs that at one time referred to Upper World and Lower World cosmologies. Below the beaded panel hangs six tabs, probably heddle woven. Each tab has a smaller eight-pointed star, before separating into two prongs, with alternating pairs of off-white and red wool tassels. This bag has a very pleasing sense of unity in color and careful construction. The bag appears to be made after the bandolier was actually a bag, and becomes strictly a decorative part of regalia.
This bandolier bag is beaded with spot stich in an all over floral pattern. The support is a double layer of cotton fabric with a lining. Red wool edges the entire bag, including the straps. As is usual, the bandolier is made of three parts: the strap, a narrow cloth panel, and the beaded panel below it with its pendant decoration. The strap is symmetrically balanced; however, the two sides have different flower and leaves from one another. The center cloth panel is smaller than is usual, and does not have the openwork beadwork that is typical. This may in fact have originally been the type of bag made in north-central Wisconsin and Minnesota that were made without the intervening panel. This seems to be a bandolier made after they became decorative only, as there seems to be no pocket. The beadwork is skillfully done, with buds, leaves and blossoms favored by Anishinabe. The floral designs have been outlined, and the interior filled with contour line spot stitch. As usual, the background is beaded in rows parallel to the upper and lower edge. The circle shapes are of particular interest,because they are a carryover from pre-floral designs, which took root around1860.
European design of squirrel, original report says, "from German trade goods," translated into loom beadwork. On one side, the figure is cranberry red, the other dull purple, all transparent beads, on clear bead background. Loosely whip stitched to brain tanned neck of bag, with drawstring. Bag is completely unlined. c. 1890 or later. Probably Anishinabe-- small bags were part of wear on dress occasions.
This type of parfleche was made as early as the 1830s, and it is sometimes referred to as a "woman's bag." Those flat bags were of a squarer shape than this one. This Lakota parfleche flat case is of the type used in early reservation days to keep documents, therefore it is also called a document case. Both color and design are Lakota. The design, referred to as structural design "G" by Mabel Morrow, is composed of triangles protruding from all sides, creating a central, irregular negative unpainted shape. Centered in that shape a diamond joins two of the triangles, a common element.
The reverse side is made up of a few crossed blue lines. This is an interesting adaptation of blue lines on the back of full size parfleche envelopes. The flap which closes the bag is unusual in that the decorative flap faces the back, rather than the front of the case. The pafleche is painted prior to cutting it out; that may explain this anomaly, since document cases came in while envelopes were going out and the form may have been unfamiliar to the maker. C. 1890-1910. This shape was not used by the Lakota for food or clothing.
Pumpkin color background. Like other typical Ansihinabe bandolier bags, this one is made up of three sections. First is the wide strap of loomed beadwork; it is asymmetrical, which is common. The background on both portions of the strap is translucent clear beads with conventionalized flower designs on one side and geometric designs on the opposite. The body of the bag makes up the other two parts. A red wool rectangle forms the bag; a small strip is left with the red exposed, with floral open work spot-stitching. Sometimes this panel is black velvet. The lower, third portion is a loomed panel attached to the red flannel. The major loomed panel, the bag proper, is of pumpkin yellow, geometric designs. The elaborated hourglass shape in the center is not uncommon, and has many variations. Eight tabs or fingers dangle across the bottom, probably heddle woven. This is typical of Anishinabe bandolier bags beginning around 1880. Turkey red wool tassels are suspended from these. Red fabric shows around the whole bag, and as with older bags, it has an openwork geometric design from older quillwork pieces worked around it-- in this case, three rows of ancient otter tail pattern.
The strap shows a good deal of damage in the center back, probably from prolonged handling.
This is not Southern Plains as previously identified, but Lakota. The strike-a-light carried flint, steel, and tinder; it was worn on the back of a woman's belt. This one is beaded on heavy harness leather, a difficult process. An awl would be used to make it. The shape of the bag, size, colors, design, drops, and tinklers are all classic Lakota traits.
Cylinder made of painted rawhide, one of the forms of parfleche.
While this is the shape of a bonnet case, it is too small for a bonnet. Cylindrical cases were for sacred objects, such as bonnets, bustles, etc. This one may have been for a pesa (head roach), or a medicine bundle. These are made of rawhide, this one painted in Lakota designs, and uses cross hatching to provide another "color". Top and bottom disks are tied on with thongs, as usual. Not commonly seen in exhibitions, because few have survived. Parfleche were truly amazing, both resilient and decorative.
Lakota are known for their use of saturated colors on parfleche, the use of yellow ocher, blue, red, and smaller areas of green. Elements are outlined in brownish black. Cross hatching with colored lines is a distinctive feature in some Lakota parfleches, used almost exclusively by them. Blue bands as seen at the top edge are also part of the envelope shaped parfleche. These cylindrical cases, along with medicine bundles, would be tied onto a tripod outside the tipi in good weather, or hung inside during wet weather. A person would attend the bundle at all times, to move it as the sun moves, or remove it in bad weather.
Contrary to collection notes, neither food nor clothing would ever be carried in a cylinder case.
Small buckskin drawstring bag with overlaid netted beadwork. Probably Anishinabe-- they have been doing netted beadwork since the 1860s, and possibly earlier, but usually as one segment of a larger piece which included other types
of beadwork. The style of the bag suggests 1890s-1920. Bags were very popular accessories at that time.