The Vermont Historical Society houses over 25,000 objects relating to our State's history. Over the next five years all of these items will be digitally documented and placed in this catalog for public use. Items are presented in topical exhibits as well as categorical groupings. Please check back regularly as items will be added monthly. This catalog also houses the Vermont Women's History Database and the Vermont Black History Database.
Bead-Work Pouch, 19th Century
Silk, linen, glass beads
Gift of Frederick M. Wiseman, #2017.3.8.2
This bead-work pouch was created by an Innu craftsman to hold a French medallion offered in trade at some point after 1643. The Innu inhabit Nitassin (Our Land), an unceded area on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Canadian-defined provinces of Quebec and Labrador. The Innu share a related language and allied with neighbors the Atikamekw, Maliseet, and Algonquin peoples, including the Abenaki.
Samuel de Champlain interacted extensively with the Innu and established Quebec City within Nitassin. Innu guides directed him throughout much of travels, including the trip to what is now called Lake Champlain where he helped defeat an Iroquois war party at Ticonderoga.
This pouch, and the medallion it contained, made its way to an Abenaki family and represents the interplay of various indigenous cultures as well as with French "habitants."
Small pouch with long, beaded strap and beaded decoration. The strap is loom beaded with tiny glass beads in green, red, pink, and blue in a repeating geometric pattern. The pouch is constructed of black silk velvet over heavy linen or cotton. Remnants of a green ribbon are around the edge, where it once was bound. The center front of the pouch is decorated with a stylized flower made of tiny glass beads in white, red, blue, green, and yellow. The center back of the pouch is decorated with a leaf or fleur-de-lis made of tiny glass beads in green, blue, and red.
This pouch was made to hold a Louis XIV medallion (2017.3.8.1) by Abenaki or Innu people.
Made or Created
Linen, Silk, Beads, Ribbon
United States of America
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