Southeastern, Cherokee, Lenni Lenape -- Pre-1840

Though bandolier bags are mainly associated with Anishinaabe people, and especially with Midewiwin dances, a few early ones ones were found among the southeast Woodland tribes. Peabody Museum identifies this one -- which is made of trade wool broadcloth and glass beads -- only as made by a southeastern tribe, prior to the time of Removal -- the 1820-1840 period. They call it a doctor's bag.

Cherokee women made bandolier bags, which women wore (men usually wor Ojibwe bandoliers). This one was made sometime prior to the Trail of Tears death marches removals (May 1838 - March 1839) of Cherokees from the southeast to Oklahoma. It may have been looted during the rmovals. It is presently in the National Museum of the American Indian.

This Lenni Lenape (Delaware) bag was made for a woman sometime before the removals of 1840. A student brought it with her to Carlisle Indian residential school and gave it to Martha Wheeler, one of her teachers, in 1880. Because of the rarity of the bag -- the only one known of this tribe -- it sold at a Sotheby's auction for $28,000 in 1979. Its present whereabouts is unknown.


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Text and graphics copyright 1995, 1996.

CREDITS: Southeastrn Tribe doctor's bag: Peabody Musum Gifts of the spirit exhibition. Cherokee Bag: National Musum of the American Indian, reprinted in 500 Nations. Delaware bag: from an ad for a 1979 Sotheby's auction, in a 1979 issue of American Indian Art.

Last Updated: Saturday, August 24, 1996 - 7:33:15 AM