This object is on permanent display in the South Florida People & Environments exhibit, located in the “Indian People in South Florida Today” gallery.


Shoulder Bag
From northern Florida
Dates to ~1830s-1840s


South Florida Archaeology


This is a man’s beaded shoulder bag made in the early 1800s. It’s very rare to have one this old that is in such great shape. Men wore these over the shoulder, with the pouch part resting on the opposite hip. They wore them on dress up occasions but they did carry various items in the pouch, such as tobacco, flint and steel for making fires, maybe a little whetstone for sharpening their knife. The bags are usually made of wool and beautifully decorated with many small beads. In this case, each shoulder strap terminates in three tabs with wavy designs and the pouch has curvilinear designs that touch one another and are almost intersecting. It has a triangular pouch flap, which is common in Seminole shoulder bags.

Bill Marquardt
Curator, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography*
Director, Randell Research Center*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Always on Display

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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