19th c. Quilled, Beaded Strike a Light Pouch

For Native Americans, small bags such as this one served as persona essentials for generations because they held the tools for starting a fire. The Strike a Light pouch offered here dates from the fourth quarter 1800s and still contains pinches of early tender.

Made of brain-tanned hide, the bag is hand sewn and decorated on the front with hide fringe, quills and beadwork. Even with the loss of some beads and quills, this is a beautifully crafted piece that reflects the maker’s artistic eye. I love the impact of the red and white quills with the red and white seed beads along the edge of the flap.

Attached to the back of the pouch is a strip of hide that would have looped over a belt or wrist. In addition to some quill loss, there is bead loss on the right side of the bag. The Strike a Light comes from a Denver, Colorado collection. Dimensions: 5” L x 3-1/2” W with a 2-1/2” long strap. Probably Sioux.


Click any image to enlarge it.