Title: Pipe Bag
Date: c.1890
Culture: Lakota / Dakota (Sioux)
Medium: tanned hide, rawhide, glass seed beads, brass beads, porcupine quills, and tin cones
37 1/2 × 7 1/2 in. (95.3 × 19.1 cm)
Credit Line: The Donald Danforth Jr. Collection, Gift of Mrs. Donald Danforth Jr.
Object Number: 93:2010
Place made: United States
Current Location: On View, Gallery 322
For the Lakota (Sioux) pipe bags are “containers for the heart”, holders of sacred pipes and tobacco that symbolically contain the very heart of the people. Pipes are central instruments to Plains societies spiritually and socially, and smoking pipes draws the universe together to activate prayers, thoughts, and blessings. Pipe bags are imbued with the power of the materials they hold, and are treated with respect and reverence as sacred objects. Due to their significance, pipe bags are held in the left hand, closer to the heart, rather than tied to the body, and they are stored in places of honor. Their decoration reflects distinctive cultural artistic traditions, and each side features entirely different designs.
Exhibition History
Title: Plains Indian Artwork from the Donald Danforth Jr. Collection (2009)
Date: February 27 – October 25, 2009
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Plains Indian Beadwork from the Donald Danforth Jr. Collection
Date: November 17, 2006 – July 7, 2007
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
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