**Originally Listed at $300**
Native American, Iriquois peoples, late 19th century CE (pre-1880). Three beautiful, brightly colored pouches, each made of cloth and leather with beads sewn into floral patterns over them. The first, with a brown velvet background, has a gorgeous deep blue brocade interior lining with motifs of hummingbirds in paler blue, pink, and green. The leather body of the pouch is overlaid with soft brown fabric on its exterior, decorated with floral patterns comprised of clear, white, yellow, blue, and pink beads, with a white bead border. The pouch has three pockets, and, with that brocade interior, is incredibly striking. This piece is Mohawk. Size of largest (dark brown): 6.6" W x 6.6" H (16.8 cm x 16.8 cm)
The second, with a dark brown velvet background over its leather body and red fabric sewn around its borders, has yellow, blue, pink, white, and clear beads sewn into a floral pattern with green stems on the flaps and the body of the pouch. This bag is Tuscarora, an Iriquoian tribe. A red ribbon added as a handle may be more recent than the rest of the pouch, but is still old.
The third pouch, which is also Mohawk, has a a light brown fabric backing over leather, has the remains of a bright purple cloth interior. On its exterior it has a floral pattern dominated by clear glass seed beads with larger cylindrical beads, and green, red, and blue seed beads, providing highlights in the pattern. Clear cylindrical beads form outlines on the flap and around the body. Soft, navy blue velvet has been sewn onto the border and into a handle; there is red cloth underneath it.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Woodlands people used porcupine quills as decoration on clothing; they created rigid designs, often of uniform color. Trade with Europeans, who brought glass beads from Venice and other glass-making centers in Europe, dramatically changed the look of Native clothing. Floral designs became popular, with each color of bead symbolizing something different to the Native viewer.
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000
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All three show signs of age and wear, with some fading to the beads, losses to beads, and losses/wear to the fabric. The light brown one shows the signs of greatest age, and seems to have lost a portion of beads on the upper edge of one of the flaps. Its liner fabric is particular faded and torn. The other two are in better condition, and seem younger, with only small areas of bead loss and tears to the fabric, almost entirely along edges/folds.