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Hi,  I found this in the bottom of a box of paper at an auction today. The beads are sewn onto a piece of soft white leather.  The black "frame" is sewn onto the leather to form a frame around the beadwork. I imagine it was in a picture frame. It measures 3 1/2" x 4 3/4"  As background this was in a box of paper belonging to the family of Benjamin Clarke Morse who was a Brig. General in the US Army from 1880's to 1920's  He was stationed at Fort Mackinac in Michigan and also in Philippines, Cuba, Vera Cruz, Panama and Texas. Any help is appreciated.

Answer
Fort Mackinac is located on land that was considered Menominee land. Nearby are Ojibway(Chippewa) and Anishinabe tribal lands. This type of beadwork is usually given as a thank you gift acknowledging some personal or family kindness. The style could be any of the three or Potawotomi. It was a very special souvenir of the service of Gen. Morse and was carefully kept in his family, so it should not be too hard for you to research and see if there was a specific incident. Good luck in your search.

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Richard Sutton

Expertise

As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at www.sailletales.com I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.

Experience

My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

Publications
I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, www.kivatrading.com and our Ebay Store.

Education/Credentials
UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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