This rectangular buckskin pouch has beadwork on both sides in yellow, blues, green, black, red and white, made with the lazy stitch. The central design is a stylized flower pattern. There is a bead border along all edges. There is clear bead trim along all outer edges. The top flap is slightly curved. Two buckskin thongs hang from the flap which may have been used to close it or attach the pouch to another to another item of clothing. The bag has been sewn with sinew. The pouch has traces of yellow ochre on the exterior.
On March 16, 2015 during a NAGPRA collections review, designated tribal representatives from the three Ute tribes informed History Colorado staff that this pouch may have been used to carry ration tickets, tobacco or sage, money, or other small items. This pouch may have been worn by attaching it to a belt.
Thomas McKee (1854-1930)
Thomas M. McKee was born in Kentucky, but grew up in Nashville, TN. He trained as a photographer, but also often worked as a railroad express messenger and had interests in paleontology. He found his way to Montrose, CO in 1890 to set up a photography studio. He is believed to be one of the first photographers to take X-ray pictures. He introduced western Colorado to moving pictures in 1895.
He photographed Mesa Verde and much of the local mining activity. In the early 1900s he turned his interests to documenting the daily lives of Ute people in photographs. He also began to collect Ute artifacts and amassed one of the largest Ute collections in the United States. He was close friends with Ouray and Chipeta. History Colorado bought his collection in 1948. It consists of 232 items. 150 are beaded Ute pieces. This is our largest Ute collection.