Choctaw Beaded Sash

thread-sewn and partially beaded on red wool; white pony beads form scroll elements divided by three vertical bars; thin strips of navy wool separate the rows of beadwork, length 52.5 in.
early - mid 19th century

Sashes such as these were made before 1865, and perhaps as early as 1800. Sashes were worn singly, sometimes as a pouch strap, or in pairs, crossed over the chest. The double spiral motif edged in triangles is typical of Choctaw sashes and probably originates in the spirals seen on prehistoric pottery (Goggin 1952: 176). Brackets, Xs, or bands of zigzags are used to separate the spirals. The sashes themselves were an innovation after European contact, although clothing decorated with stone, bone, shell, and wooden beads was present prior to contact (Galloway and Kidwell 2004:507, fig. 8).

Similar examples can be found in the collections of Splendid Heritage, Warnock Collection (WC8411005); National Museum of Natural History (E358226-0).

The chapter "Choctaw in the East" by Patricia Galloway and Clara Sue Kidwell in the Handbook of the North American Indians, vol. 14, pages 499-519 discusses the Choctaw and shows a similr sash on p. 507.

Provenance:Collected by James Kelly Hampson (d. 1956); Arkansas

Condition:Some bead loss; some tears in wool; some wool loss; couple hand-sewn repairs.

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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