Hemp and cornhusk flat storage bag, Nez Perce

Made by a female member of the Nez Perce Tribe circa 1835. Acquired by Henry Spalding and sent to Dudley Allen. Purchased by the Nez Perce Tribe from the Ohio Historical Society in 1996.

Plain twining of Indian hemp (warp) and hemp (weft) false embroidery of external weft wrap adding third element of bear grass dyed with Oregon grape. Buckskin drawstring through top of bag. Geometric designs on both sides of bag. Materials hemp, bear grass, buckskin, cornhusk.

W. 45 x L 68 cm.

Traditional Knowledge: 

The decoration of the bags in the Spalding-Allen Collection reflected particular family designs. The Nez Perce employed the bags for storing edible roots or bulbs “during harvest time and for winter storage.” The bags would also be used for “ceremonial events, such as wedding trade, burials, or feast gatherings and ‘giveaways’ during memorials of a deceased member of the family village, or Tribe." Allen Slickpoo Sr. 1995