Bandolier Bag

Accession Number

Bandolier Bag


Artist Nationality
Ojibwa (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1885

Medium & Support
printed cotton, black velvet, wool cloth, red wool yarn and glass trade beads

42 15/16 in x 13 11/16 in (109 cm x 34.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. John Alexander

Subject matter
Woodlands women gradually developed the style and design of this bandolier bag. Early contact woodlands bags were made of hide and worn tucked into a belt. In the eighteenth century, these women adopted the non-Native military style of the bandolier bag, and began to experiment with new materials and techniques, including fabrics, ribbons, quillwork, and beading. 

Floral motifs came to prominence in the nineteenth century. These designs replaced the earlier geometric and cosmological symbols of earlier bags. Floral subject matter likely came from non-Native sources, such as religious institutions and schools that encouraged the domestic arts among their Native female students. Woodlands women adapted this subject matter into their own rich and unique visual language and methods of making and producing bags such as this one for both internal tribal use and external sale to non-Native markets. 

Physical Description
Large rectangular beaded bag with wide shoulder strap. Body of bag is white with a blue and yellow floral motif. Top of bag is black with floral design. Strap is white with floral design. Red and black fringe on the bottom.

Primary Object Classification
Costume and Costume Accessories

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Objects We Use
bandolier bags
beadwork (visual works)
cultural artifacts
floral patterns

38 Related Resources

Borders of Identity in North America
(Part of 14 Learning Collections)
Fashion and Adornments in Global History
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Indigenous North America Arts
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
Women and the Trades
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
W19 Ballinger - HIST 202 - Doing History
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
W19 Gibelyou - ALA 301 - Tours of the Past
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
W20 Goodenough - RCIDIV 351 - Great Lakes Castaways
(Part of: Examples of Past Course Collections)
F20 Gunning - HONORS 241 - The Fall and Rise of American Empire
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
Work by Indigenous Artists in UMMA's Collection
(Part of: Representation and Misrepresentation of Indigeneity in UMMA's Collection)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 103 (Marvin H. Davidson Gallery)