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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Bead

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Beaded Bag

Beaded Bag
Date: Unknown
This beaded bag has a red blanket cloth front and a leather back. The front and flap is decorated in a floral design with small yellow, pink, white, blue, green, and gold glass beads. Larger barrel-shaped green glass beads decorate the edge of the flap and, along with brass bells, decorate the leather fringe at the base of the bag.


Beaded Buckskin Ball

Beaded Buckskin Ball
Date: Unknown
This stuffed buckskin ball was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1954. The red, white, and blue trade bead design divides the ball into four sections and is sewn with animal sinew, the fibrous tissue binding muscles and bones.


Beads from the Forrest Site, 14PA303

Beads from the Forrest Site, 14PA303
Date: 500-1100 CE
These bone and shell beads were recovered at the Forrest site, a Keith phase site in Pawnee County during excavations by Kansas Historical Society and University of Kansas archeologists in 1967. The flat disk bead was cut from a mussel shell and drilled. The bone beads were made from small animal bones. They were scored, then cut or snapped, and finally had their edges smoothed, to form the tubular beads. Incised spirals and rings were added to each bead for decoration. The site was occupied sometime between 500 and 1100 CE. The people who lived here were semi-sedentary hunters and gatherers.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other out buildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other out buildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other out buildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Bone Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bone Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These bone beads were recovered from the Tobias site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2020. The beads were made from sections of bird or small to medium sized mammals. They were scored, then cut or snapped, and finally had their edges smoothed, to form the tubular beads. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The people that inhabited Great Bend aspect sites are ancestral to the Wichita and affiliated tribes. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Bone Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bone Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These two bone beads were excavated during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. The beads were made from a section of bird bone. They were scored, then cut or snapped, and finally had their edges smoothed, to form the tubular beads. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Glass Bead and Turquoise Colored Glass from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Glass Bead and Turquoise Colored Glass from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1700 CE
These turquoise colored glass artifacts, one a bead and the other a melted fragment, were recovered from the Fanning site in Doniphan County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. The melted fragment may have once formed a bead similar to the one shown. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s. The Fanning site was a Late Ceramic to early Contact period Kansa village.


Glass Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Glass Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These glass beads were excavated during the 1977, 1978, and 2018 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. The beads are different shades of blue and have round, hexagonal, or faceted shapes. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Glass Trade Bead from Morris County

Glass Trade Bead from Morris County
Date: 1600-1860
Shown is a turquoise colored round glass trade bead found on the former Kaw/Kansa reservation in Morris County in 1989. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s.


Glass Trade Bead from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Glass Trade Bead from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown is a blue round glass trade bead excavated at the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. This item was traded into the area from Europeans or other American Indian groups. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that has dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1

Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1
Date: 1770-1802
These 274 glass barrel-shaped trade beads were recovered from the Pawnee Indian Village site in Republic County. They were excavated during 1965 archeological investigations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s. The Pawnee Indian Village is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A museum was built over one of the lodges that was excavated, leaving the exposed floor visible.


Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1

Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1
Date: 1770-1802
These glass trade beads were recovered from the Pawnee Indian Village site in Republic County during 1965 and 1966 archeological investigations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s. The Pawnee Indian Village is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A museum was built over one of the lodges that was then excavated, leaving the exposed floor visible.


Osage Beadwork

Osage Beadwork
Date: Unknown
This beadwork was donated by Chief Sylvester Tinker of the Osage Nation to the Kansas Historical Society in 1987. The geometric design of blue, red, and white beads was woven on a loom. The Tinker collection includes hundreds of items such as these revealing the rich facets of Osage culture.


Shell Bead from the Breckinridge Place Site, 14OB408

Shell Bead from the Breckinridge Place Site, 14OB408
Date: 1-1000 CE
These shell beads were recovered from an Osbourne County archeological site occupied during the Early Ceramic period. The shell beads were likely crafted from mussel shell.


Shell Beads from Fool Chief's Village, 14SH305

Shell Beads from Fool Chief's Village, 14SH305
Date: 1828-1844
These marine shell beads were recovered during excavations at Fool Chief's Village, a Kansa village in Shawnee County. Fool Chief's Village was the site of the 2012 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school, though excavations continued into 2013. These tubular beads are called wampum and are made from an Atlantic clam shell and then traded into the area.


Shell Beads from Riley County

Shell Beads from Riley County
Date: Unknown
These beads were collected in Riley County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The fragile beads were likely crafted from mussel shells.


Trade Beads from Kaw Mission, 14MO368

Trade Beads from Kaw Mission, 14MO368
Date: 1840-1870
These trade beads were recovered during excavations at the 2016 and 2018 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Kaw Mission in Council Grove. Shown are blue, amber, and white glass trade beads in round, faceted, and oblong shapes. The Mission was built over the winter of 1850 - 1851 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South as a school for boys in the Kaw (or Kansa) tribe. The site was acquired by the state of Kansas in 1951 and it was listed in 1971 to the National Register of Historic Places.


Trade Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414

Trade Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414
Date: 1847-1874
These trade beads were recovered from an archeological site in Morris County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2020. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s. All are made of clear, green, and blue glass in either oblong or faceted shapes. The site had multiple occupations from the Archaic period to the late 1800s and was one of three large Kansa sites along the Neosho River occupied during the mid-19th century.


Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396

Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396
Date: 1847-1872
An assortment of trade beads were found at the Canville Trading Post in Neosho County near the Osage Reservation. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. The small white and turquoise colored glass beads are in a wheel or rondelle style. The larger beads are round. The Canville Trading Post was established in 1847 by A. B. Canville. When the Osage reservation land was ceded to the United States in 1870, the Osage left for Oklahoma and Canville followed in 1872.


Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396

Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396
Date: 1847-1872
An assortment of trade beads were found at the Canville Trading Post in Neosho County near the Osage Reservation. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. The oblong white and white with turquoise beads are made of glass. The Canville Trading Post was established in 1847 by A. B. Canville. When the Osage reservation land was ceded to the United States in 1870, the Osage left for Oklahoma and Canville followed in 1872.


Trade Beads from the Jotham Meeker Farmstead, 14FR308

Trade Beads from the Jotham Meeker Farmstead, 14FR308
Date: 1845-1865
These trade beads were recovered from the Jotham Meeker farmstead site in Franklin County. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s. The site was excavated in 1985 at a Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Jotham Meeker served as a Baptist missionary among the Ottawa on their reservation.


Trade Beads from the Village on Pawnee Fork, 14NS403

Trade Beads from the Village on Pawnee Fork, 14NS403
Date: 1867
These glass beads were recovered from the Village on the Pawnee Fork in Ness County during excavations in 1977. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s, predating the burning of the village. The Village on Pawnee Fork, home to several hundred Southern Cheyenne and Southern Teton Oglala was destroyed by order of Major General Winifred S. Hancock in 1867. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Turquoise Bead Fragment from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385

Turquoise Bead Fragment from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This bead fragment was recovered at the Radio Lane site, a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in Cowley County. The disc-shaped turquoise bead fragment was recovered from a bell shaped pit feature, 109 cm (approximately 3.5') deep. Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew excavated at the site during 1995.


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