Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

cornhusk bag
  • unknown Nimiipuu (Nez Percé) maker
  • cornhusk bag, late 1800s–1964
  • Where object was made: United States
  • cornhusk, plant fiber, wool, dyeing, weaving
  • Object Height/Width: 57 x 48 cm
    Object Height/Width: 22 7/16 x 18 7/8 in
  • Gift of Maude Ellsworth
  • Not on display
  • 2007.1317

The bag of woven cornhusks has a band of darker color at the top and bottom of the bag that may be hemp. The design is mostly dyed wool yarn, except the darker brown triangles, which are cornhusks. There is a drawstring at the top.

One side has a decoration of two stacked diamonds with a triangle above and below. Each diamond has a red field with a light blue band and a darker brown band. Inside the red field is an eight-pointed star with dark blue points on a light blue rectangle. The rectangle has a horizontal band of yellow and four brown triangles. Bands of small dark blue triangles and small red triangles emerge from the flat sides of the diamonds, and the sides of the bag, giving an overall impression of a zig zag. There are brown and light blue triangles attached to these lines. The triangles at the top and bottom of the design are outlined in red with a center square of natural fiber with dark blue stripes flanked by solid triangles filled with light blue and brown stripes.

The other side has three horizontal bands of three diamonds. The diamonds alternate. The brown center has a band of black squares, natural squares and red squares. The light blue center is surrounded with red squares, natural squares, and black squares. The three bands of diamonds are separated by green stripes with brown blocks or lines between them.