Arts of the Americas
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The United States on the World Stage, 1865–1930
As northeastern tribes were forced onto reservations and their traditional lifestyles were threatened, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women looked for new sources of income for their families. They took advantage of their skill in quillwork and beadwork, and began to make items such as purses, needle cases, pincushions, and watch fobs to sell to non-Native tourists who flocked to state fairs and other local tourist destinations. Haudenosaunee women sold their arts, which featured motifs of northeastern flora and fauna, directly to eager customers.
Velvet, beads, silk, cordage
late 19th-early 20th century
Gift of Margaret S. Bedell
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Iroquois (probably). Bag, late 19th-early 20th century. Velvet, beads, silk, cordage, 7 1/16 x 5 11/16 in. (18 x 14.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Margaret S. Bedell, 30.1459.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 30.1459.10_front_PS9.jpg)
front, 30.1459.10_front_PS9.jpg., 2019
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Small ladies purse with beaded floral designs on velvet on one side and undecorated on the other. Such bags were often made for trade to non-Native customers especially in areas such as Niagara Falls, Chautauqua Lakes, and the Finger Lakes regions where Iroquois beadworkers sold them directly to customers.
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