Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Indian Beaded Purse

The history of this apparently Native American Indian made beaded purse is unknown. It was in a box of other textiles that came from my mother. The outer fabric appears to be velvet or velveteen and the lining fabric cotton. The front and the back are exactly the same. The purse is about 7 inches tall and 5 inches wide. I'd measure it, but it's carefully wrapped in acid-free tissue in a textile storage box on the top shelf of the closet. The purse shows some wear. Some beads are loose or missing, and the fabric is nearly frayed in places.

Here is a detail of the beading. Perhaps you can see that there is a three-dimensional effect to the beading of the flowers. The outer edges of the flowers are farther away from fabric than the middles of the flowers. Look for the brownish sequins sewn on with beads. I wonder what color the sequins were originally.

The purse is like a pocket, open at the top with no closure. The flaps on the front and back do not cover the opening. They are just flaps. There is no string or handle to hold on to.

I know my mother purchased some things from the Indian tribes in Central Michigan during the 1930s as she traveled for her work. Perhaps this is one of those things.


pam T said...

Wow Marty, what a treasure! That purse is gorgeous!

Carol said...

Hi Marty
What a find. I love Native American beading and the work on this purse is beautiful.

flyingbeader said...

What a great purse. Looks like an original Delaware toe bag. I took a class with a Delaware Indian & she had us make replicas of this bag which was traditional made by the Delaware women & sold as souvenirs at places like Niagra Falls.