Northern Wilds Magazine

A Bag Worth a Pony

The Art of the Ojibwe Bandolier Bag
By Marcia G. Anderson
Minnesota Historical Society Press, $34.95

Bandolier bags, or gashkibidaaganag—the large, heavily beaded shoulder bags made and worn by several North American Indian tribes around the Great Lakes—are prized cultural icons around the world. Neighboring Dakota people use to trade a pony for a beautiful beaded bag. In A Bag Worth a Pony, Maria G. Anderson shares the results of 30 years of study, in which she learned from the talented bead artists who keep the form alive. Filled with colorful photos, Anderson examines the history, forms, structure and motifs of the bags. She also offers a tour of Minnesota’s seven Ojibwe reservations, showing the beautiful beaded bags associated with each, along with the personal insights of seven master bead workers.Breana Roy

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