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1830s Ojibwe Bag

Last year, at the Madeline Island Museum, I saw a beaded Ojibwe bag from the 1830s that was on display, loaned from the Wisconsin Historical Society.  I was stuck by the style and beauty of this bag.  Although the 1830s are on the edge of the historical periods of my interest, I had to make my own version of this bag.  The original bag is dated to the 1830s but the bag was donated to the State Historical Society in 1908 by Medwesang from Lac du Flambeau. This bag is also featured in an article written by Museum director Steve Cotherman in the Wisconsin Magazine of History and can be seen here.

Stupidly, I thought that it would be much easier and simpler than it actually was.  Wool bag with simple wool cut-outs appliqued, simple line beading, a little ribbon… easy peasey… ya right!  Anyway, I have now completed the bag and have no idea what I am going to do with it… but it is COOL.  As can be seen, I tried to keep as much the same as possible, but I did change the scale some.  I also took a bit of license with the color of the materials.  Some of the ribbon on the original was a yellowish off-white. Originally, the ribbon may have been an ivory that has yellowed with age, or it may have been a goldish-yellow that has faded.  I chose a solid goldenrod/yellow.  Also, the lining of the original was a white and brown stripe.  On hand, I had an indigo blue and white stripe linen that was not quite the same scale, but it looked pretty good and it was in the scrap fabric tub.  Since looking again at the original, I also notice that the beads were a very small 11/0 instead of the 10/0 that I used.  This is somewhat noticeable now in the images.

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