Shoulder Bag, ca. 1850

  • Chippewa, Native American

Wool fabric and yarn, cotton fabric and thread, silk ribbon and tassels, glass beads

  • Framed: Overall: 29 × 7 1/8 inches (73.7 × 18.1 cm) Overall (pouch): 10 7/8 × 7 1/8 inches (27.6 × 18.1 cm)

Founders Society Purchase


On View

  • Native American S130


Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas

  • Floral patterns
  • Geometric patterns
  • Weaving
  • Beading (process)
  • Embroidering
  • Wool (hair)
  • Cotton (fiber)
  • Ribbon
  • Thread
  • Fringe
  • Tassel
  • Tassel
  • Cotton (textile)
  • Silk (textile)
  • Wool (textile)
  • Yarn
  • Glass
  • Beadwork
  • Text
  • Shoulder bag
  • Bandolier bag
  • Michigan

Creating and wearing articles of dress and formal clothing is an important means of cultural expression among Native American people. This elaborately decorated pouch, with a broad shoulder strap, was worn as part of an ensemble for ceremonial and social events. The method of double-weft bead weaving, requiring the use of a box loom, quickly became the most popular technique employed throughout the Great Lakes and is still used today.

Signed, Marks, Inscriptions

Inscribed on front of bag in a beaded panel: BASIN.DASIN


(Forrest Fenn, Fenn Galleries, Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA); 1975, purchased by Richard A. Pohrt [1911-2005] (Flint, Michigan, USA); 1981-present, purchased 1981 by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Published References

Penney, David W. Art of the American Indian Frontier: The Chandler-Pohrt Collection. Seattle and London, 1992, cat. no. 38. Whiteford, A. H. "The Origins of Great Lakes Beaded Bandolier Bags." American Indian Art 11, no. 3 (Summer 1986): 35, fig. 4, (col. ill.).

Rights Status

Chippewa, Native American, Shoulder Bag, ca. 1850, wool fabric and yarn, cotton fabric and thread, silk ribbon and tassels, glass beads. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, 81.78.