Mixed Blood

Beaded Bandolier Bag by Martha Berry

Motif: Although constructed in the old Southeastern Woodlands style, this bag was created to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. Up to this point, it was the most complex work attempted by this artist, showing two very different primary motifs. This illustrates the complexity of understanding your own mixed blood and the conflicts it produces.

Red and blue are used to represent the Anglo influences in a very ordered and continuous motif. Pumpkin orange and corn leaf green are used to celebrate the Cherokee in the mix, in a motif that seems to grow like a vine. However, this vine is beaded against the colors of a dominant culture. On the flap, the cultures merge in a third motif. This motif is reminiscent of the double helix of DNA, culminating in one drop of "mixed blood."

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