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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Bead

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Beaded and Quill Worked Pipe Bag

Beaded and Quill Worked Pipe Bag
Date: 1880-1900
Though its origins are not know, this beaded pipe bag has a design similar to those favored by the Lakota Sioux. It was donated in 2006 to the Kansas Historical Society. The bag is made of leather with a leather fringe along the bottom. It is decorated with red, blue, yellow, green, white and gold beads, in addition to porcupine quills dyed red, white, purple, turquoise and yellow.


Beaded Buckskin Ball

Beaded Buckskin Ball
Date: Unknown
This stuffed and beaded buckskin ball was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1954. Sections of two blue and two red beads are divided by white beaded bands with navy blue beaded crosses.


Beaded Knife Sheath

Beaded Knife Sheath
Date: Unknown
This beaded knife sheath was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1941. The sheath is made of rawhide and sewn with sinew. Sinew was also used to sew the beadwork, a white background with a geometric design in rose, red, light blue and dark blue, all done in lazy stitch. The sheath is also decorated in tassels and tinklers. Its overall length is 11 3/4" and it is 2 1/8" at its widest point.


Beaded Moccasins

Beaded Moccasins
Date: Unknown
These moccasins were originally on display at the Highland Museum (later the Iowa and Sac and Fox Historic Site) in Doniphan County. The rounded toe moccasins have fur lined flaps and hard leather soles. Black cotton bands, stuffed with a red, white and blue printed cotton, trims the sides. The uppers and sides are decorated with a linear motif in red, white and blue beads.


Beaded Moccasins

Beaded Moccasins
Date: Unknown
The pair of slip-on beaded moccasins were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2003. They are likely either decorated in a Pawnee or Plains style. The leather moccasins were beaded with dark blue, red and green beads in a floral pattern on the uppers and around the sides. Traces of animal hair remain on the soles in addition to some writing in pencil.


Bead from the Wullschleger Site, 14MH301

Bead from the Wullschleger Site, 14MH301
Date: 1700-1900 CE
This blue glass beads was collected from the Wullschleger site in Marshall County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1961. The site was occupied periodically throughout the Early, Middle and Late Ceramic periods. The round bead measures 10.69 mm by 8.8 mm.


Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414

Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414
Date: 1847-1874 CE
These three beads were recovered from a site in Morris County during a 2006 survey by a Kansas Historical Society archeologist and Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers. The site had multiple occupations from the Archaic period to the late 1800s. The site may have been one of three Kansa sites along the Neosho River. All three of the beads are made of glass. Two are hexagonal shaped, one blue the other clear. The third bead is dark green and faceted.


Beads from the Mem Site, 14MN328

Beads from the Mem Site, 14MN328
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These beads were excavated in 1986 during a highway salvage project undertaken by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers at the Mem site. The black glass ovoid bead, of European manufacture, was recovered from the upper fill of a cache pit. The disc-shaped turquoise bead and the two ceramic beads were recovered from the same cache pit. The Mem site, in Marion County, is a Great Bend aspect, ancestral Wichita village.


Beads from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385

Beads from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385
Date: 1400-1899 CE
These three beads were among the many that were excavated at the Radio Lane site, a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in Cowley County. The amber glass faceted bead was likely made in Bohemia and dates to the mid-to-late 19th century. The white glass trade bead has a light brown swirl within the glass. The turquoise bead was recovered from deep within a bell shaped pit feature. Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew excavated there during a Phase IV archeological investigation in 1995.


Beads from the Shrope Site, 14CO331

Beads from the Shrope Site, 14CO331
Date: 1400-1725 CE
A salvage excavation was conducted at the Shrope site in Cowley County by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew in 1995. The shell bead shown here, and numerous artifacts, were recovered from deep within a bell-shaped pit. The mussel shell is delicate and great care must have been taken to create the oval hole and shape the bead. The bone bead was found at shallower depths in a different pit. Both ends of a bird bone have been scored, snapped and smoothed to create the bead. The Shrope site was a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village. Forty-one archeological features, such as storage pits, hearths, and post molds, were uncovered at the site.


Bird Bone Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Bird Bone Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 1200-1400 CE
These bird bone beads and others were recovered from the Curry site in Greenwood County, and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The Curry site was a multicomponent (multiple occupations) site occupied periodically during the Archaic, Early Ceramic and Middle Ceramic Periods. 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. Incised spirals and rings were added to each bead for decoration.


Bone and Shell Beads from 14SA423

Bone and Shell Beads from 14SA423
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These two beads were recovered from the surface of an archeological site on the bank of an old stream meander in Saline County. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The shell bead was likely crafted from a mussel shell. The bone bead was made of a bird bone.


Bone Bead from 14DN302

Bone Bead from 14DN302
Date: Unknown
This small bone bead was collected from an archeological site in Dickinson County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2010. The bead was made from a section of bird bone. The bird bone was scored, then cut or snapped, and had its edges smoothed, to form the tabular bead. The bead's color indicates it was calcined (burned by a strong heat), probably prior to modification.


Bone Beads from the Markley Site, 14OT308

Bone Beads from the Markley Site, 14OT308
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These two bone beads in slightly different styles were collected from House 1 at the Markley site, a Smoky Hill Phase occupation site containing two or more houses. The collection was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. Bone beads such as these are generally made of bird bone.


Bone Beads from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Bone Beads from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
This group of bone beads were recovered from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2016. 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 tabular beads. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by the ancestral Wichita peoples.


Bone Beads from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408

Bone Beads from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
Shown are four bone beads recovered from the Sharps Creek site, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in McPherson 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 tabular beads. The shortest bead was recovered during excavations at the 1993 Kansas Archeology Training program field school and the other three were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993.


Bone Ornaments from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1

Bone Ornaments from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1
Date: 1650-1750 CE
Shown are five bone ornaments that were recovered from the El Cuartelejo site in Scott County. The site, unique in Kansas, is the location of a seven room pueblo occupied by refugees from the Taos and Picuris pueblos in New Mexico in addition to Dismal River aspect groups (Apache). El Cuartelejo, also called the Scott County Pueblo, has been excavated and studied by many archeologists since 1898. They were recovered during the 1976 Kansas Archeology Training Program. The bones are from a small animal, such as a rabbit. They may have been used as ornaments or intended to be bead blanks. Some of the ends are scored, as though in preparation for snapping off a bead.


Brass Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Brass Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 1200-1600 CE
These 13 brass beads were recovered from the Curry site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The Curry site is a multicomponent (multiple occupations) village in Greenwood County. These beads, similar to a Rondelle shape, were likely traded for other goods.


Fossil Crinoid Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Fossil Crinoid Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 500-1600 CE
These fossil crinoid beads were recovered from the Curry site in Greenwood County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. Crinoids were marine animals that lived in the shallow sea that covered Kansas over 245 million years ago. The bead maker would have drilled the center out of the bead prior to threading them into a necklace or sewing them onto clothing. The Curry site was a multicomponent (multiple occupations) site occupied periodically during the Archaic, Early Ceramic and Middle Ceramic periods.


Hair Pipe from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Hair Pipe from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This hair pipe was recovered from the Fanning site, a protohistoric period Kansa village in Doniphan County. Hair pipes were used to decorate hair, or as necklaces, earrings, and in breast plates. It was collected in the 1930s by the University of Nebraska and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1987.


Knife sheath

Knife sheath
Date: 1889-1925
This beaded knife sheath was purchased on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and later donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1925. The rawhide sheath is decorated on the front with small multicolor "seed" beads in a geometric pattern. Twelve remaining cone tinklers, along with feathers dyed purple, are attached to the edges.


Modified Mussel Shell

Modified Mussel Shell
Date: Unknown
This fragment of a mussel shell was found along Mill Creek in Wabaunsee County. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1925. The hole was cut or drilled into the shell, but it isn't known whether desired result was the shell with a hole in it, or the cut-out portion, which could have been made into a bead or even a button.


Osage Beaded Moccasins

Osage Beaded Moccasins
Date: Unknown
These beaded moccasins are affiliated with the Osage Tribe. The leather moccasins have beaded tops, sides and soles in white, green, red, blue and metallic colored beads in geometric patterns. The tongues are split into two points that are tipped with metal tinklers and dyed red hair, possibly from a deer. It has been estimated that these moccasins may have been over 100 years old when donated in 1987 to the Kansas Historical Society.


Pendant and Bead from the Kohr Site, 14SA414

Pendant and Bead from the Kohr Site, 14SA414
Date: 780860 CE
This pendant fragment and bead, both made of shell, were collected in the 1930s from Kohr House No. 1 at a large village site in Saline County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. The Kohr site was occupied by Smoky Hill aspect people and had several rectangular houses. Radiocarbon dates on maize indicate it was occupied during the Early Ceramic period.


Pipestone Bead from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24

Pipestone Bead from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24
Date: 1790-1830
This unusual pipestone bead was recovered from the Blue Earth village site and donated in 1986 to the Kansas Historical Society. Blue Earth village was a Kansa Indian village in Pottawatomie County. Many lodge depressions were still visible on the surface in the 1880s. The soft, fine grain material enabled the carver to shape and smooth the piece and drill a longitudinal hole through the bead.


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