|J.Babcock Medicine Bag 2006|
|Deerskin Medicine Bag|
After moving to New Mexico in the late ‘80s I first became aware of Native American medicine bags - these are usually made of soft deerskin and containing personal items of protection and power such as stones, fetishes, sage, bones, hair or fur, roots, leaves or feathers.
|J.Babcock Medicine Bag circa 1992|
Around that same time I also began noticing other types of medicine bags in shops (also called amulet pouches or talisman bags). These were mostly decorative and worn like necklaces. So, I started experimenting and hit upon a particular design that I could duplicate in different colors and beads so that each bag was unique. I made a lot of those bags and they helped pay the rent for many years. But as everything has it’s time and season and it was no longer my bliss to make them anymore, I decided to retire that medicine bag design for the time being.
“The Ashley Book of Knots” (#2329, page 375). This is a really cool book for knot lovers published around 1944. It took the author 11 years to finish and has thousands of knots.
P.S. I may be mistaken but I could swear I saw Mary on Downton Abbey wearing a black beaded amulet bag. It was in the scene where Richard Carlisle was walking out the door for (hopefully) the last time. As they say "everything old is new again" and beaded bags will always be in style.