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Photographs from ca. 1900 show that bandolier bags decorated with large realistic floral designs were most popular among the Native people of Wisconsin and Minnesota. In order to create these curvilinear patterns, the beads were applied by means of a spot-stitch or applique technique. Beads in a larger variety of colors than ever before were available, allowing the women artists to make gradual color transitions. The realistic appearance of the floral elements was increased by the indication of ribs and veins in the leaves, and the colors were filled in by following the curves of the outlines. The realism of these details was not always followed up in the total design. Flowers and leaves of different plants are often sprouting from the same stem. The bilateral symmetry of earlier styles was replaced by asymmetrical compositions without loss of balance in the total effect. On bandolier bags these compositions were usually placed against a background of translucent or transparent white beads. This late style often used strings of basket beads instead of tabs to hold the yarn tassels along the bottom of the bag.
height 42.5 in ; width 13.5 in