Ceremonial Bag

Ceremonial Bag

Red felt ceremonial ‘octopus bag’

Square design with four long vertical strips which fork to create eight end points from which tassels hang. The red felt is decorated with white, green, blue, and metal beadwork in floral design, black edging, white bead trim. The ends are decorated with red, yellow, and blue wool pom-poms on white, yellow, and red ribbons.

Octopus bags are named as such because of the four forked fabric strips resembles the tentacles of an octopus. Traditionally, the octopus bag was worn either by the clan leader or the host during potlatches or special ceremonies. The bag was only worn by a very important person. In some cases an illustrious speaker could wear up to three bags. The creators of octopus bags used colours and elaborate beadwork to decorate the ceremonial accoutrement. They are highly prized objects worn with the strap around the necks and shoulders of these important men.


MacBride Museum of Yukon History, Whitehorse

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