Surrounded by Beauty

Navigation Map


Key Ideas
Pipe bags containing a pipe and tobacco were carried into battle.

Both traditional porcupine quills and glass beads from European trade decorate this bag.

Women embroidered bags and were highly respected for their skill and sense of design.

Northwest Coast Southwest Mississippi Valley Northeast Woodlands Plains

Pipe Bag
Introduction --
Who Made It?
Compare It
Pipe Bag Label: Lakota, Great Plains Region (United States), Pipe bag, about 1885, Leather, glass beads, porcupine quills and feathers, Bequest of Dorothy Record Bauman 74.63.15

A Plains man carried both tobacco and a pipe in this pipe bag. A pipe bag was as important as a horse or a weapon for a man going into battle. The undecorated portion of hide at the top of the bag was tucked under and flapped over a belt.

Glass beads strung on a thread and stitched on the bag form this design. Glass beads were introduced to Native Americans by European fur traders, and because they were easy to use and easy to find they gradually replaced quills as the most common form of decoration. The quills that adorn this bag came from a porcupine. The quills were flattened and dyed, then wrapped around strips of rawhide and stitched in place.

Pipe Bowl Elkhide Pipe Bag Shield Dress Baby Bonnet Native Amercan History and Culture


MIA Home Page ArtsConnectEd Printable Curriculum