Traditional Cherokee Ladies Purse

Title: Leather Purse

Materials: Glass seed beads on leather

Size: Approx. 6 1/2 H x 6 W x D (excluding handle)

Early 19th century Cherokee women carried small beaded purses. They were treasured and handed down from mother to daughter as family heirlooms.

There are a number of examples of beaded, early 19th Century, purses that are still owned by Cherokee families. However, some of them have characteristics that indicate non-Cherokees may have made them.

Pretty, dainty and feminine, these little purses make wonderful 21st century accessories for powwow regalia or evening gowns. They also display beautifully in shadow boxes.

Between 2005 and 2007, however, several examples of these charming little purses, known to have been made by Cherokees before the Removal, have surfaced. This purse was inspired by one of them. It was patterned after (but is not a copy of) a beaded artifact at the Vann Museum in Georgia.