Hide Bag

Hide Bag

Moosehide bag with small front flap and strap

Leather fringe around the sides and bottom. Beading on front and flap of bag. Bead colours include red, blue, green, white, orange, pink, gold.

Most moosehide bags were used for hunting. Hunters carried supplies such as knives, awls, sinew and other necessary hunting equipment.

Today bags such as these are made for all-purpose use and are not gender specific. Utilizing First Nations sewing skills, women today make hide bags to be used as purses or carry-alls. Of these most are crafted for the tourist trade. Historical hunting bags were made in a similar shape, that is, a rectangular pouch consisting of two pieces of hide sewn together on three sides with a rounded closing. These shoulder bags were worn over the head and around the body, so that they hugged the torso without being cumbersome for the hunter.

After European contact, beads were more accessible to First Nation seamstresses. Beading was applied to several articles and garments to show wealth and skill of the seamstress. Proud wives often decorated their husband's personal effects with intricate beading and fringe work, which was carefully cut to a suitable length as to not get caught in the brush. These adornments also made the article more appealing to tourists, which could be sold as a means to supplement income for First Nation peoples after the government forced First Nations to occupy permanent residences.

Institution

Kluane Museum of History, Burwash Landing

Accession Number

1974.47

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