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Catalog Number 167
Title Pipe Bag; Leather; Quilled; Beaded; Standing Bear
Object Name Bag, Pipe
Description Pipe bag made of leather and decorated with quills and beads. Bag is made of deer hide and has an elongated neck. The opening edge of the bag is trimmed with green, red, yellow and blue beads. The upper neck portion of the bag is undecorated except for wide strips of striped beadwork stitched to the side seams and 3 feather shapes on each side. Both sides of the bag have panels covered with bright red, yellow and green quillwork. The design is nearly identical on both sides. Both sides have a pair of green and yellow diamond shapes and 2 connected crosses at the centers. One side has stepped triangles radiating from the diamonds and the reverse side has pronged rectangles extending from the diamonds. The geometric designs are arranged on a red background. The bottom of the bag has strips of rawhide wrapped with red, light green and yellow quillwork wrapped around it. Long leather fringe hangs from the bottom of the quill covered fringe.
Date 19th c.
Year Range from 1801
Year Range to 1923
Culture North American Indian
Material leather, glass beads, quills
Made Standing Bear, Wife of
Length (in) 40.25
Width (in) 7.375
People Bristol, David Charles "Omaha Charlie," 1834-1925
Standing Bear
History According to donation records, this was made by the wife of Standing Bear for her son.

Collected by D. Charles Bristol, known as "Omaha Charlie". Bristol was born in Canandaigua, New York on March 17, 1834. Before he was 21 years old, he established a trading post 20 miles east of Black River Falls, Wisconsin where he traded with the Chippewa, Miami, Pottawattomie and Winnebago. In 1855 he married Mary Thompson. They later divorced. In 1867, he came to Decatur, Nebraska. He lived on the Omaha and Winnebago agencies, Pine Ridge, Gordon, Rushville and Homer. In 1881 he married Lettie Hunter, a Winnebago woman, and they had four boys. In 1883 he bought a farm in Homer. He died September 14, 1923.

In the 1870s Omaha Charley began exhibiting his collection of Native American materials in various cities. "he secured the services of Indians to wear the costumes and use the implements for the entertainment of his audiences, and toured most of the larger cities of this country with his show." (See NSHS donor file). His troupe appeared in theaters and they traveled to Europe. They were known as "Omaha Charley and His Wandering Band of Sioux" (See banner #3458).

According to a 1906 newspaper article, Omaha Charlie received $50.00 per week in cities like Chicago, ST. Paul and Minneapolis for showing his collection in Museums.

Omaha Charlie's Scrapbook (See NSHS Archives) shows that he exhibited in Paxton, Illinois in October of 1891. In December of 1891 he gave a lecture on his curios and travels at Kohl & Middleton Museums in Chicago. Huber's Palace Museum in New York offered him four weeks at $40.00 per week starting February 29, 1892. In April 1893 he exhibited at the Welker Building, open 1-10, admission 10 cents. He had with him "two squaws and a papoose".

A handbill from Three Rivers Michigan, December 20, 1892 or 1893 advertises "An Exhibition of Indian Relics collected by men of 40 years experience among various Indian Tribes". It lists D.C. Bristol and Captain R. Miller as the exhibitors. The text on the poster states "Secured by Omaha Charlie with dexterous hands. Aided by Captain Miller in Indian lands".
Credit line D.C. "Omaha Charlie" Bristol Collection, Homer (Dakota), Nebraska