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Video transcript

[Music] we're in the Newark Museum looking at a shoulder bag by Delaware artist it was made about 1840 1860 in either Kansas or Oklahoma but what's interesting is that the Delaware were originally an East Coast nation their original territory is up along the Hudson and down the Delaware River so here new jersey is at the core of their traditional territory and the Delaware were one of the Native American groups in North America that were in first contact with Europeans but this bag dates to centuries later the Delaware get pushed out of the eastern sea port early on in the 17th century by the period of the American Revolution they are primarily in western Pennsylvania the Ohio River Valley and eventually there's a treaty that provides for a reservation in Kansas but they also end up in Oklahoma Delaware is a colonial term really a governor of the territory attached to the Lenape after colonization we're seeing a type of bag that is often referred to as a bandolier bag and this is a type of object that is made by more than one nation by an earlier bag also known as a shoulder bag is common among Anishinabe Ojibwe Potawatomi and also hella where Miami Shawnee it's sort of a common genre early on in the 18th century an earlier style would have been made with pole work I'm Black buckskin the basic structure is the same they're made out of cloth the strap in the back of a bag and sometimes the inside of the bag are lined with beautiful printed cotton cloth usually referred to as a calico coming from either England or even India originally part of that global exchange that really has expression in the 18th century the bag is constructed in layers the beadwork is often done on its own backing of trade cloth and then there is the calico backing behind it that is a decorative element and it's no surprise to me that this was a popular type of bag because they are spectacular the bag in front of us is exceptionally beautiful with incredibly fine I'd work on the front mostly what we see is the very bold beadwork the motifs are bold but organic there's also a real geometry to them and so there's this whole aesthetic that has to do with dualities of upper worlds and normal worlds and other aspects that we may not know about but that really are seen through this aesthetic display with negative and positive space and so every element has really thought through with these configurations in mind and I think it's really important to remember that here in the gallery we're not seeing the bag as it was intended to be seen this is meant to be worn it's meant to move through space and the conical Tinkler's would have produced a sound there are bells at the end of the tassels and so this would have moved with its wearer and it would have made sound it would reflected light differently it's worth remembering that while the bags were made by women they were intended to be worn by men like most artwork in native America it was made by women you
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