NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN, APACHE, small draw string bag or pouch beaded on both sides with long beaded fringe. The main design element on each side of the bag is the powerful and mythical "Thunderbird". Thunderbird is know to soar to the heavens and carry the prayers of his people praying for rain. When you hear "thunder" you know thunderbird has convinced the Creator to give his people water/rain. The bag has traditionally had the job of carrying it's owner's dice for gambling, but it could also be a small child's belt bag. Bag is probably Arizona Apache, but could be Ft. Sill Apache. The style is the same as the Southern Plains women adopted in the early 1900's for their personal dance bags. The bag is made of native tanned hide, is both thread and sinew sewn, and has a matching leather draw cord for the closure of the pouch. Each side is beaded alike with the exception of the bead colors. All bead work is done in true Apache style. Apache tend to use larger beads and bead lanes closer together thus creating a more "humped" look. This bag displays that style beautifully. The bag's bead colors include: opaque white, dark blue, deep red, true red, robin's egg blue, a sprinkling of sky blue, yellow, black, and transparent green. The beautiful double row beaded fringe has a mixture of all these colors, but the maker also added: transparent gold, cobalt blue, old rose, orange, sky blue, clear crystal and others.
CONDITION: Good, I believe the bag to be very close to 100 years old, so with that in mind, excellent! The leather is from the time period when the Apache were either on the run or being moved to Oklahoma. It is drier and a little stiffer, this is due to the lack of lanolin available during this time to use for traditional tanning. I believe it is deer or horse hide, not steer. Bead work is strong and appears to be all there. I would not use the bag, but it can be handled and displayed without fear. There is a water stain on the bottom of the bag, just above the beadwork. This area is not rotten or torn.
CIRCA: Early 1900's
SIZE: 6" Length plus 3" fringe by 4" wide
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Antique Native American Apache Beaded With Thunderbirds Dice Or Child's Bag