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Ska-ba-quay (Mrs. Joseph Tesson, Meskwaki, ca. 1846–1929), bag
ca. 1900
Wool, cotton
60 x 45 cm
Collected by Mark R. Harrington

Derived from earlier two-color twined panel bags made from nettle fiber and buffalo wool, twined storage bags made by Great Lakes women grew wonderfully colorful as commercial yarns became available. A Meskwaki woman, Ska-ba-quay (or Mrs. Joseph Tesson) became known in the late 19th century for her remarkably tapestry-like twined bags. Her design field is established through the sequencing of wide and narrow horizontal bands. Each band is composed of two contrasting colors, which then contrast with the bands above and below. The narrow bands are composed of small repetitive geometric patterns, while the three wide bands are composed of repeating figurative motifs: horses and riders, men, and horses with mounted and unmounted riders. This bag is woven as a single piece: the warps are draped over a support so that the each side of the support will become one side of the bag, and there's no need to make a seam in the bottom.

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