Dance By Numbers

Beaded Bandolier Bag by Martha Berry

Motifs inspired by Cherokee number and color symbolism, with special emphasis on the numbers two, four and seven.

By crossing two lines, a four-point star is created. By arranging three rows of beads in gradated colors around this star, seven rows of beads are produced on each point, in a total of four colors. In the seven-point star, the Cherokee colors for the four cardinal directions (according to James Mooney and other scholars) are presented from the outside to the center in counter-clockwise order. This symbolizes the Seven Clans being called in to dance counter-clockwise around the central fire. The double rows of trim beadwork recall the importance of maintaining a balance in our lives.

Materials: Wool, cotton cloth, cotton binding, Czech glass seed beads, yarn and brass trade beads.