Glenbow Museum - Where the World Meets the West

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Title: Bandolier Bag

Date: mid 20th century

Creator: Unknown

Additional Creator Information: Nehiwyan (Cree) or Anishinabe

Medium: cotton, velvet, wool, glass beads

These bags were worn draped across the chest, with the strap on one shoulder and the bag hanging beside the opposite hip. Originally these were used as hunting bags, but this one has no pouch and is ornamental or ceremonial.

Beadwork was not just for decoration.

- Gerry Conaty

Sometimes a mother and daughter or sisters, grandmother and daughter or three or four generations worked together and passed the designs down. No one has really talked about this when they consider sewing and beadwork. This really would have stood out, especially when it was new. These were white beads and they must have really stood out. It's still really in good shape.

- Joe Deschamps

When I look closely at the designs, they remind me of flowers. Why would people use a floral design? Does it reflect the plants in their environment? Or did they learn from the nuns who taught them at residential school?

- Gerry Conaty

That's a very important question. When it came to residential school I think that [the] majority of those nuns didn't allow bead working in school. They were the ones that clipped off the hair. That is my opinion on it. They taught us; but not in a creative way.

- Joe Deschamps

Collection Area: Native North America

Rights Holder: Collection of Glenbow Museum

Catalogue No: AP 2933

Image No: P0017315

Learn More:
This artifact can be used in conjunction with Nehiwayak: Traditions of the Cree People education guide from the online teacher's resource series 21st Century Learning: Links to Our Collection.

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