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Sioux-style Beaded Hide Pipe Bag


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431. [NATIVE AMERICAN ARTIFACT]. Sioux-style beaded hide pipe bag, ca. early twentieth century. Length: 48 cm top to bag bottom; 61 cm with fringe. Soft hide bag with rolled top, tab-bottom form terminating with tab tassels. Bag trimmed with multicolored rolled edge beaded bands at top, along sides of throat to opening of bag, mid-center and inner edges below. The beads create a solid pattern of bars of turquoise hue light blue colored beads. On this bag the solid blue pattern is broken along the sides and inner tabs by individual lines of contrasting color in repetitive designs of orange-red and white beads; alternating with cobalt, greasy yellow, and pink. Along the top of the bag, the solid light blue is broken with strips of white, translucent deep red, and translucent medium green; alternating with lines of orange-red, greasy yellow, opaque forest green, and cobalt beads. Beadwork decorates bottom on one side with five horseshoe patterns using individually orange-red, greasy yellow, cobalt, pink, and white. A lazy-stitch geometric feather design is at each tab in dark navy blue, white, and orange-red beads having three greasy yellow beads at each design top. At mid-center two lazy-stitch geometric designs are present using translucent deep red and white beads. On the other side at the tabs are two beaded lazy-stitch four direction patterns using forest green with orange-red centers. On the other side, three corn patterns in greasy yellow, dark forest green, orange-red, white, and cobalt adorn the lower bag below the mid-center. The patterns continue as lazy-stitch geometric feather designs above the mid-center using orange-red, cobalt and white beads. Red feathers on thin metal stays are attached on both sides at mid-center and below at tab tassels. Rawhide loop intended for hanging or drawing closed the bag is attached at mouth. Very good condition.

The pouch or bag is where all the necessary small supplies were kept. The size and dimensions are subjective. This leather bag is sewn on one side with a basic running stitch. Most often bags fastened together in this manner use a size 10 beading needle, threaded with waxed size 50 thread. They are sewn up inside out with the flesh side showing, and then turned so that the hair side is on the outside (Monture, Beadwork, p. 29).

Edge beading is a finishing or joining technique. The rolled edging is used to create a solid firm border. The edging on this bag is comprised of rows of four to six beads, depending on their size, required for each stitch. The needle is put through the hide, one bead width to the right of the first stitch. Another set of beads are then added and the stitch is repeated. Rolled edging tends to stretch the hide and open up the tops of bags. This stretching is not a concern. When the bag top is closed with a thong and the rolled edge is uniformly gathered, the attractive effect is like that of a flower blossom in full bead bloom (Monture, Beadwork, pp. 47-51.)

Lazy stitch was so called by anthropologist William C. Orchard in 1929, and later derogatorily re-termed “lazy-squaw stitch” by hobbyist/writer Ben Hunt in the 1950s. Lazy-stitch designs are beaded directly on the hide. Free patterning or isolated design elements are often added to the hide to provide contrast. The small free patterns are used as decorations rather than leaving space plain. Threaded beads are sewn in a parallel direction snug against the leather. The designs are created by bringing the needle out approximately one bead’s width from the line of beads previously row of beads tacked down to create forms (Monture, Beadwork, pp. 36-40).


Sold. Hammer: $1,000.00; Price Realized: $1,200.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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