Origin: Originally Southern Plains (Kiowa, Comanche), then Apache, then Navajo
Date: 19th century
Media: Buffalo hide, commercial hide, silver, turquoise
Dimensions: Pouch 4″ by 5″, overall 26″
Description: This is believed to have originally been a Southern Plains (Kiowa or Comanche) pennant flap bag or belt bag, typically brain tanned buffalo hide. This bag may have been traded to an Apache person and then to a Navajo. The flap has evidence of either being beaded or trimmed with cloth. There are a series of fine holes along the top of the flap and going around the perimeter. There are existing holes punched through the bag that are no longer being used. The painting design appears to be Apache and these designs do not match up with the fine pin holes. These Southern Plains flap bags are typically early, dating to the mid 19th century if not earlier.
The painting on the front is unusual, and has Apache association for me. The central painted design is similar to a Maltese cross and has Spanish Colonial influence. The conchos were added later, but they themselves look to be early 20th century. There is evidence of other holes used to hold other attachments to secure the pouch closed. This is a layered artifact, time wise and element wise. It’s beautiful for all its varied influences and elegant yet primitive appeal.
Condition: Condition is very good with surface wear. There are 24 small conchos lining the commercial leather strap. There are 7 conchos on the face of the bag. 6 are smaller and of similar value all centered with a turquoise stone. The center, 7th concho is the largest.