Bandolier Bag class with Martha Berry June 2014



I apologize for not keeping my promise and posting a couple of days ago after my class with Martha Berry at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. I needed a couple of days to put my manic thoughts and ideas into cohesive thoughts. I was so overwhelmed with the emotions and all that comes with being as blessed as I was to be in this class. You see, my class on the 21st was her first bandolier bag class. Our class, as Jason Harris, the Director of Education said, "Were making history". I was beside myself with excitement when they made the announcement to us. We went in knowing that it was an Advanced Traditional Cherokee Beadwork class, but we thought we would be creating sashes! We were given quite the gift by Jason, Martha and the History Center.


As usual, Martha was an incredible teacher and the staff helped to make the day a real treat by showing us their exhibits and all of the treats they have for us to feast our hungry historical beading eyes on!

Here are examples of Bandolier Bags in all of their beauty and tribal diversity:

153473_300     Jerry Ingram Choctaw

BlackfootBB Blackfoot

Chippewa     Anishinaabe

UnknownTribalOriginBB     Unknown Tribe

Delaware     Delaware

This is how they were and are still worn:

Chief Old TallahasseeOldTallahasseeChief Tallahassee (Seminole)

Tobacco, pipe and precious objects were carried in the bandolier worn in across the body style with the pouch front to the side.

This is a modern re-creation of Southeastern Woodland clothing worn in a Cherokee Nation Fashion show that was presented by the Cherokee Native Art and Plant Society and modeled by David Fowler:

5484_nws_110907_StyleShow-3_wc-LHere, you can better see how the bag is positioned during wear.

I show you all this so that you may better understand my excitement to be able to learn from one of the very best, this beautiful bead art and it's importance in history. So many are unaware of these beautiful bags or that the Cherokee and other Southeastern tribes have their very own unique style of beading and construction of them.

From my class, I received the materials and pattern to bead, sew and build my very first bandolier from the creator of THIS BAG!:

HomewardBoundMBerryMartha Berry named this Bag, Homeward Bound. You can see it and purchase it on her website at If you browse her site, she also has patterns that you can purchase to create your own work! They are extremely affordable too!

I am well on my way to deciding a color scheme and laying my first beads on a project that, even though all of the design steps have been decided by Mrs. Berry, may still take me many months to complete. I will enjoy every second of it. Though it is her pattern and design, I will still make it my own through color choices and bead directions. I hope you will continue to follow here to see where it takes me.

Thank you for stopping in! I am so glad you did! I would love to read your comments and thoughts. Will be beading away so I can show you my progress soon!


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