Beaded Bandolier Bag by Martha Berry

Motif: Stylized Cherokee rose.

Materials: Cotton cloth, cotton calico, Czech glass seed beads, satin ribbon, yarn, and wooden trade beads.

Although not an ancient Cherokee story, the "Legend of the Cherokee Rose" has become a prominent fixture in contemporary Cherokee lore.

From the story of the rose bushes that sprang from the places where Cherokee mothers shed tears for their lost children, the flower has become a modern symbol for "The Trail Where They Cried."

The actual flower is a wild rose with five rounded white petals, a yellow center, and very thorny, dense foliage. The artist combined the softest part of the rose (the petal) with the sharpest (the thorn) to create a piece honoring those who survived the hardships of the Trail and their descendants.

This piece, completed in 1999, was the first bandolier bag attempted by the artist. It was created in the very beginning stages of her research. Mrs. Berry would be the first to tell you, "Yes, I have learned a lot since those early days." It is in the collection of the Cherokee Heritage Center, Park Hill, Oklahoma, now governed by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.