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Cornhusk bag / Native American; Nez Perce


Twined corn husk bag with various geometric designs. The corn husk has been dyed black, red, blue, and orange, with a small bit of purple yarn at the bottom, on the front of the bag. The back of the bag also has corn husk dyed orange and black to produce the patterns. The top of the bag has two leather straps.

“Friendship bags,” also known as corn-husk bags, are made of twined cornhusk and contain woven, and sometimes beaded, elaborate geometric or naturalistic designs (Paterek 1994, 212-213). Women often used these bags to “store edible roots and many sorts of valuable goods” (Berlo & Phillips 1998, 132). The Plateau Indians also traded these bags with many different tribes and later with white explorers and settlers.

Curatorial Remarks

The plaiting style is twilled show in the diagonal pattern of the rive cane. This basket is from a set of 4 used for food processing (Gilcrease does not have the complete set). There may be correlation between this basket and 71.521.

Tags: twill plaited, river cane, basket tray, food processing, diagonal pattern
People: Muscogee (Creek)
Places: Oklahoma
Purpose: domestic use

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

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Cornhusk bag
Native American; Nez Perce
19th century
Plateau Region, United States of America
corn husk, yarn, leather
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Not On View

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