The Lakota traditionally used dyed porcupine quills to ornament items such as tobacco pouches. Later, artists began to use glass beads acquired through trade with European-Americans.
The well-preserved dyed quillwork make this Lakota tobacco pouch rare and valuable. It represents traditional smoking paraphernalia from the Great Plains in the 1880s.
The central image depicts a bison, a sacred animal that was also a source of food and materials for clothing and furnishings in Plains Indian culture. Porcupine quillwork generally is earlier than beadwork in Plains Indian art. Later, artists began to use glass beads acquired through trade with European-Americans.
Curator, Latin American Art and Archaeology
Florida Museum of Natural History
Made by Lakota (Sioux) people, Great Plains, U.S.
Dates to ~1880