Lizzie Jacket Beaded Purse: Anthropology Object of the Month for August 2011

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The Department's Bead Study Group, a volunteer organization that dedicates itself to working with beads and beaded items in the DMNS collections, has spent the last few years researching items in the collections to develop the Department's newest changing exhibit in the Weckbaugh case. Thanks to great help not only from the Bead Study Group, but also from the Exhibits Department and support from the Calvin A. and Virginia J. Powers Family Fund, the Department of Anthropology welcomed the new exhibit, "Around the World with Glass Seed Beads" in June of 2011. This exhibit features sixteen items from around the world, including an Akha headdress from Thailand, an Ndebele girl's coming-of-age apron from South Africa as well as items from Mexico, the Amazon, Indonesia, and Europe.

One of the items featured in the exhibit is a Ute beaded purse made by Lizzie Jacket at an unknown date, and donated to DMNS by Charles (Carl) Patterson III of Denver in 1991 (DMNS catalogue number A1737.1A). Patterson also donated a White Rose Flour bag (DMNS catalogue number A1737.1B) since he felt the rose design used by Jacket had been inspired by the rose on the flour bag.

Jacket was described by others around the Ute Reservation as the "finest bead worker among the Ute Mountain Ute". The story behind this particular bag inspired Barbara Wagner, research librarian and one of the Department's long-time Bead Study Group volunteers, to delve deeper into Jacket's story. She traveled to Cortez, Colorado and other areas in the Four Corners to interview individuals who might provide more information on the beaded bag cared for at the Museum.

Wagner's article, along with larger images of the bag, may be found in the August/September issue of Catalyst Magazine here. Go to pages 8 - 9 to learn more.

Current and past issues of Catalyst Magazine can be found at

The "Around the World with Seed Beads" exhibit will continue until June of 2012. Please stop by the Weckbaugh case at the entrance to the American Indian Cultures Hall on Level 2 when you visit the Museum.

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