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Ornamented Otter Skin Pouch

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

An otter skin pouch ornamented with colorful quillwork. Likely used as a tobacco bag. Collected from the Missouri River Valley and formerly part of the U.S. Department of War collections.

FROM CARD: "*SEE SIMILAR POUCH 8658, LABELED SIOUX?"
Entered in the orginal ledger catalog as from the War Department with the location given as Missouri R. Valley. The bag is very similar to tobacco pouches shown in drawings by James Otto Lewis of Ojibwa men during the 1826 Treaty of Fond du Lac. Thomas McKenney, who assembled the War Dept collection, acquired other items during that council meeting, and this could possibly have been acquired at that time. Bags of this form were later used by the Midewiwin Society, but during the 1820s were in more general use as tobacco bags, worn with the head looped over a man's belt. Length 48".

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Details

  • Title: Ornamented Otter Skin Pouch
  • Location: Missouri River, United States, North America
  • Physical Dimensions: L:122cm (48in)
  • Type: Bag
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • Medium: Otter skin, quills
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): E2456
  • Photo Credit: Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Ethnology
  • Accession Date: -11687

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