A lovely early reservation period Lakota Sioux fully beaded woman's handbag. This is a unique example of the interplay between white and Indian cultures as it shows the strong influence of Victorian designs on traditional Native American items. The presence of the US Cavalry officer's wives in proximity to the reservation greatly influenced the designs and forms of Indian artwork. The presence of imported Persian carpets and French silk parasols along with small beaded purses and leather doctor bags began to alter the traditional forms upon which the Sioux applied there beadwork. This small woman's handbag shows such influences in areas as the size, shape and presence of a small beaded handle which replicates the dress of the modern Victorian woman of that time. The fully beaded sinew sewn brain tanned bag is covered entirely by all the classic colors available from the Trading Posts in 1880's-1890's including the very diagnostic single stripe of faceted cut steel beads present on the rear of the bag. The White Heart Red beads fall within the orange-red color expected during this period as are the Corn Yellow beads which replaced the earlier Greasy Yellow. From a Cody, Wyoming collection, this bag has been well cared for and is in excellent condition, missing few, if any beads. The bag measures 5 1/2" x 6 1/2". The beaded rope handle is 14" in length. A rare and prime example of Lakota artistry and style.
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