I love jewelry. My interest stems not purely from the joy of beautiful adornments. Certain types and styles of jewelry have meanings and values that transcend visual appeal. Today, I am writing about Native American medicine bags.
I got my first medicine bag when I was a child. My grandfather, my primary baby sitter, is a nature and history buff. We went on trips to museums, festivals, and watched documentaries. On one of our adventures, I don't remember which one, I got a medicine bag. It is the size of a small matchbook, butter scotch leather, with fringes and beading on the front. There are beans inside of it. I don't know the significance of that. I just remember that I loved hiding things in it (money, little notes, and my favorite thing: rocks!)
Just yesterday I bought this black one at a thrift store for $2. It is beautiful leather, worth more than what I paid I'm sure. For weeks I'd been wanting to attach my obsidian arrowhead to something leather. I knew that this bag was perfect. As soon as I returned home I got to work. Here it is.
I've read differing accounts of what medicine bags are used to hold. Objects representing what is sacred or special to an individual seem to be the most usual contents of a medicine bag. I am using mine this was as sort of a reliquary. I'm treating this one much like my childhood medicine bag. Along with my small gem stones, I have some catholic charms. Overtime and in future travels, I will add more things that I find precious. I have a feeling that I might wear this everday.