Catalog Number : 23423
Accession Number : 6140
Tribe : Potawatomi
Region : Great Lakes Area; Potawatomi, Forest County, WI
Material : Glass beads, cotton, wool, yarn, string

This bag is beaded in an almost continuous geometric design. The bag has no horizontal band, and no real pocket.

Source : Collected on expedition by Dr. S. A. Barrett in 1917, MPM curator of Anthropology 1909-1920 (Director from 1920 on).
Catalog Number : 14728
Accession Number : 4043
Tribe : Winnebago/Ho-Chunk
Region : Great Lakes Region
Material : Glass beads, wool cloth and yarn, velvet, brass tacks

This bag exhibits a loomed geometric star design around the neck strap and the front of the pouch in white, orange, blue and green beads. The backing is red wool with black velvet accenting the front. There are brass tacks across the sides as well as red and green tassels.

Source : Purchased from Mrs. Annie L. T. Romeyn, Washington D.C.
Catalog Number : 14601
Accession Number : 3964
Tribe : Winnebago/Ho-Chunk
Region : Great Lakes; no specific area recorded
Material : Glass beads, cotton, silk ribbon, wool yarn

This bag has a pouch in the front. Tan cotton backing exhibits a loomed geometric design on the neck and pouch panel in yellow, red, blue, and green colors. The center has two horizontal black cotton panels with a beaded floral design in pink, blue, and green. Red tassels adorn the bottom.

Source : Collected by Dr. Paul Radin, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington D.C., 1908-1913.
Catalog Number : 240
Tribe : Menominee
Region : Great Lakes region (Northern Wisconsin)
Material : Glass beads, cotton, thread, wool yarn
This bag exhibits an elaborate use of geometric beadwork that completely covers the cotton backing, with exception of the edges. Large blue and red glass beads are attached to the red yarn tassels at the bottom; white opaque beads attach the gray and red tassels to the chest straps.
Source : Purchased from H. W. Shaw.
Catalog Number : N1297
Tribe : Ojibwe
Region : Great Lakes Region (Wisconsin)
Material : Glass beads, cotton, velvet, and wool

This bag has a fully beaded shoulder strap and pocket. It exhibits a floral pattern, with a red elasticized twill tape as trim. The material at the sides and above the pocket is black velvet, edged with white beaded geometric lines that may be an otter motif. The nine loom-beaded fringes have red and black yarn tassels. The bag is lined with polyester; the strap is lined with flour sack.

Source : Purchased with the Nunnemacher Fund.

Kwakiutl Masks

Masks are highly valued by the Kwakiutl, serving as potent manifestations of ancestral spirits and supernatural beings and offering these supernatural entities temporary embodiment and communication through dance and other kinds of performance (Greenville 1998: 14). Masks also allow the wearer to undergo spiritual and social renewal, and serve as an outward manifestation of inward transformations (Pollock 1995: 588-590). However, Northwest Coast tribes do not all share the same myths or characters, nor do they necessarily use masks in the same way during their ceremonies (Malin 1978: 47).

Northwest Coast

The southernmost border of the Northwestern Coastal region lies in western Washington state and continues northward along the Pacific Ocean to southern Alaska. In addition to creating woven cradles like some groups in the Plateau region, cradles were also built out of cedar. Some were simply flat boards that were used in the same fashion as those in the Northeast; others were created out of hollowed logs.


The Plateau Region encompasses the eastern portion of Washington State, northern Idaho and Montana, as well as parts of Alberta and British Columbia. Only one cradle in MPM’s collection originates from this region, a trough-or bag-like Lillooet cradle woven in an imbricated (overlapping or scaled) design from roots and bark. The imbricated weaving technique was used by groups from the Plateau and Northwest Costal regions to make carrying containers and cradles because it created a water-tight seal. Some woven cradles included a curved wooden bow and lacing in their design.


The California region includes most of the modern state, except for a portion of the north and east, which can be considered parts of other regions. Californian cradles from the Pomo (4) and Hupa (3) are included in MPM’s collection. The cradles of these groups are known by two names. They are called “sitting” cradles, because the base of the cradle forms a seat for the child, and they are also called “cradle baskets” because of their construction. This type of cradle is unique to the region.