Native American Medicine Bags & Pouches

Published on April 3, 2014 by Amy

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Native American Medicine Bags
Native American Medicine Bags
Photo courtesy of Native Arts Trading

Native American medicine bags continue to be a popular part of Native life. Historically women were the makers of American Indian pouches. Bags called Parfleche bags, rigid rawhide and soft tanned leather medicine bags were probably the most popular. Leather medicine pouches made with soft deer hide buckskin, elk or buffalo have become the most prevalent among American Indians. Traditional brain tanned bags are made using a special smoke process, labor intensive, they are highly prized.

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Some medicine bags are simple pouches while others have a lot of work in their creation. Beaded medicine bags or side bags as they are called feature all types of Indian art and Native designs to please all types of tastes.

Falling into two basic types of bags today, most are classified as a specific bag or a possible bag. One with a distinct purpose such as a carved fetish pouch, medicine bag filled with cedar and sage or a tobacco bag. The second continues to increase in popularity and serves as a personal gathering bag for anything you carry.

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Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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