Panel Bags

Panel bags represent a very old and intricate form of textile weaving. The artform predates ribbonwork, and by looking at objects like these, we are able to determine that geometric patterns have existed in Myaamia aesthetics for a very long time. These bags are not Myaamia, but are very similar to bags collected from Miami people, such as the one in the image to the right. Often, panel bags represent the oppositional cultural figures Ciinkwia ‘Thunder Being’ and Lenipinšia ‘Underwater Panther’ on the opposite sides of the bags. The top bag is Ho-Chunk and displays the Ciinkwia side of the bag. The bottom bag is Potawatomi and displays the Lenipinšia side of the bag.

ahkimotayi ‘Panel Bag’, mid-19th century
Vegetal fiber, buffalo wool and wool yarn
Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 2311
ahkimotayi ‘Panel Bag’, mid-19th century
Nettle fiber, wool yarn and natural dye
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 242165.000