Object photography

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Object description

  • Cree artist
  • Sheath, before 1845
  • Leather, porcupine quill, metal, dye
  • Great Plains, North America
  • L: 14 3/4 in, W: 3 1/4 in, D: 1/2 in (L: 37.5 cm, W: 8.3 cm, D: 1.3 cm)
  • Gift of Mrs. Story, 1845
  • E3676


This knife sheath is made of leather and decorated with dyed porcupine quills. The top portion of the sheath, around the opening, is ornamented with wavy bands of orange, black and white quills. Metal cone tassels hang from short leather strips around the bottom of the top decorative portion. Two long decorative tassels, with two tin cones on each, terminating in a quilled loop, hang from either side of the top decorative portion. Four of these same decorative tassels hang from the very bottom of the sheath. The triangular body of the sheath is ornamented with floral and curvilinear quill work. There is decorative quill work on both the front and back side of the sheath.

Exhibition History

  • Uncommon Legacies: Native American Art from the Peabody Essex Museum, Washington State Historical Society; October 11, 2005 through February 09, 2006
  • Gifts of the Spirit: Works by Nineteenth-Century & Contemporary Native American Artists, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; November 14, 1996 through May 18, 1997