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bandolier bag

Copyright Minnesota Historical Society Collections

Rectangular shoulder bag is spot-stitched on the exterior pocket and strap with a multicolor floral pattern of glass seed beads on a background of translucent beads. The sides of the pocket are edged with deep red taffeta ribbons spot-stitched with zigzag lines of white beads. Above the pocket is a black velvet strip with a floral beadwork motif. The bag is edged with deep red silk ribbon, now intact only on the shoulder band, and backed with dark olive cotton cloth. The pocket is lined with striped cotton. The bottom of the bag is fringed with loops of tubular dark blue beads that terminate in deep blue yarn tassels tied with medium olive green thread. [All National Bureau of Standards colors]. The bandolier bag is one component of dance regalia used by Kay-zhe-baush-kung (Otto Bismark) of Walker, Minn. The bags appear to have been prized for their decorative qualities and were worn on special or important occasions, including dances and treaty trips to Washington, D.C. Contemporary Ojibwe elders have told us that these beaded bags were decorative articles of clothing that could be worn by any man or woman. Bandoliers were worn on festive occasions, the broad band passing over the shoulder. Sometimes two such bags were worn.