Bandolier Bags: Ani Yunwiya

Winner, Special Merit Award for Beadwork
Trail of Tears Art Show 2001
Cherokee Heritage Center
Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Around the year 1840, a Cherokee beader, probably a woman, created a bandolier bag. She used red wool, calico cloth, glass seed beads, ribbon and yarn. The design motifs she chose were floral, in pink, green, dark blue and white beads.

Sometime over the years, the bag lost its strap and all but one tassel, and became a part of the David T. Vernon collection. Today, it resides in the Colter Bay Indian Museum, Grand Teton National Park.

Although the design of Ani Yunwiya is unique, it was inspired by that old bandolier bag.

For the strap, the artist created symbolic floral motifs. Like the Cherokee people, these motifs are plants in full bloom, but with their roots in two different places.

Materials: Wool, cotton calico, Czech glass seed beads, cotton binding, yarn, trade beads.