Assiniboine Quilled Pipe Bag
Assiniboine Quilled Pipe Bag CA 1890 Assiniboine Pipe Bag of thin, Native tanned buckskin. Folded lip at top sewn with cotton thread. Rawhide or parfleche quilled slats sewn to bottom of bag with sinew. Buckskin double fringe sewn to bottom. Two buskskin thongs, quilled and folded, attached at top through bag as decorative hanger. The front of the bag has a square panel at the lower half painstakingly decorated with porcupine quill, aniline dyed, flattened, and sewn between two cotton threads in a one quill crossed technique creating the appearance of several tiny, long triangles side by side. Three quilled "feather" designs extend upward into the undecorated buckskin, each accented with two tin cone terminals at each end of a small buckskin thong punched through the leather. Each cone is further decorated with an aniline dyed red feather tuft. The main design of the lower panel is separated into two center vertical elements against a red background. The designs mirror each other, each with a center yellow diamond outlined in purple with a purple center joined at top and bottom by yellow triangles lined in purple with the bottoms open. The sides of the design are decorated vertically with dark purple "tracks". The decorative quill-wrapped thongs that also serve to hang the bag are coloured with yellow at the top, blue in the center and red at the bottom. These also terminate in tin cones with red dyed feather tufts. The back of the bag shows the same configuration of design canvas. Here the design is a center purple diamond with yellow center joined at top and bottom by solid purple "K" designs. Toward each corner of the red field are four yellow crosses with dark purple centers and terminals at the end of each bar. The sides here are also decorated with dark purple vertical "tracks". The seam sides are decorated with a strip of quill work to the top of the bag in geometric bars of red and yellow with blue terminals. This design is repeated along the top edge. The slatted panel is quill wrapped in a design of a long vertical yellow bar outlined with purple and is flanked by butterfly designs on each side in the same colour scheme. Complete bag is approximately 40 inches long including the 15 inches of fringe at bottom. The bag measures approximately 8 inches at its widest point.
Condition: The bag is thin, light, and fragile. This taken into account, the bag is in amazingly good condition. One feather tuft is missing from one of the tin cones on the front. On the back one cone is missing and a tuft is missing from another cone. Quill loss is exceedingly minor, with one or two stitches missing and a few tiny holes in some of the quills. The slats show an approximate quill loss of 5%. All of the hide is supple.