The design on this bag juxtaposes figural representations of people and horses, suggesting a scene of work or ritual activity. The weaver reimagined a widespread style of decorated pouches used for tools or ritual paraphernalia with details such as the bricked geometric diamonds and zigzags. The bag’s embellishment reflects artistic experimentation and innovation in the face of dramatic changes that occurred by the 1850s, including the imposition of the reservation system in the Lower Columbia River.
Bernstein, Bruce, and Gerald McMaster, eds. First American Art: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection of American Indian Art. Washington, DC: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 2004, no. 168, p. 219.
Penney, David W. Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection. New York: Skira, 2015, no. 94, pp. 5 (detail), 152.