Octopus bag

Unknown Cascade/Klikitat artist1850-1900

Maryhill Museum of Art

Maryhill Museum of Art
Goldendale, United States

This Native American bead-woven bag with Wasco/Wishxam-style motifs may have been made as early as the 1850s by the wife of the Cascade chief Welawa, also known as Chief Chenoweth. Its form may have been inspired by decorated shoulder bags seen on Canadian voyageurs at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver or passing by the family’s home on the Columbia River near Hood River, Oregon. The traditional four doubled tabs look like the tentacles of an octopus and give the bag its name.


  • Title: Octopus bag
  • Creator: Unknown Cascade/Klikitat artist
  • Date: 1850-1900
  • Location: Oregon, United States of America, Washington, United States of America
  • Physical Dimensions: w7 x h16¾ in (complete)
  • Media: glass beads and cotton string
  • Culture: Middle Columbia River (Cascade/Klikitat/Wasco/Wishxam)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mary Underwood Lane
  • Provenance: Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art
  • Type: Costume accessory
  • Rights: http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/discover/about-maryhill-museum-of-art/press-room/images-for-publication

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