felt bag with beaded designs and wide, beaded fringe; one side is red with floral beaded motif; vine motif on the fringe; other side is navy blue with two beaded birds; black and red twisted cord; tassels with shell beads

Firebag, c. 1830

Not on Viewexpand_more

In the early 1800s, a particular kind of elaborately beaded bag—a firebag—captured the imagination of Native women artists in the Subarctic, the Northern Plains, and some coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. Firebags were made to store tobacco and flint, and are also known as Octopus Bags, a reference to their dangling, tentacle-like tabs at the base of the pouch. This particular firebag displays beadwork similar to that of the Dakhóta, Metis, and Cree peoples, known for their skillful use of tiny beads, with a bold central design and subtle floral motifs on red wool. In addition to the very fine beaded work that frames the piece, there are two beaded eagle designs on the back of the bag, making it unique.

Details
Title
Firebag
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2016.72
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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felt bag with beaded designs and wide, beaded fringe; one side is red with floral beaded motif; vine motif on the fringe; other side is navy blue with two beaded birds; black and red twisted cord; tassels with shell beads