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Gourd Purse

Gourd History

gourd historical purse 

This is the Native American version of a carry all or what we might call a gourd purse. The uses of a purse or carry all by natives a couple hundred years ago would obviously be different from today, and a carry all such as this may not have ben carried simply by women either, in gourd history men also may have carried a device similar to this.  Men who carry purses today are considered to be a little different to most people in society, but back then it was really more of a tool or utensil than a sign of femininity or masculinity.

Women for example may have carried a gourd purse to hold a deer hock bone for a needle, perhaps some strips of leather, a spare leather braid holder, a small knife, and of course her Maybelline Mascara and a Zippo lighter.  men on the other hand did not have pockets in those leather flap covers they wore, so where were they supposed to carry their pack of Marlboro?  Just kidding, but I hope you know that already.  Men, besides hunting also did planting as did the women, (different cultures may have differed in who did what), but men could carry lots of seed for planting, fish to bury with the seed for fertilizer, maybe even some spare arrow heads.

Todays gourd purses are perhaps a little more artistic, but no less useful.  today we put hinges and latches on them, woodburn or paint them with pretty flowers or other artistic images, and besides being functional gourd purses they are also a piece of gourd art.



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