Commentary on the Beadwork of Sophia Smith

Bandolier bag maker Cheryl Minnema is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa.  Cheryl completed her third bandolier bag in 2010.

"I can spend hours looking at photos of bandolier bags, there is so much to consider;  the size and color of beads, shape and flow of flowers and vines, and the stories behind the beaded images of birds, flags, and names.  Knowing how much time it takes to prepare the materials, layout the design, and sew on the beads until the entire area is full and smooth, I appreciate every detail.

In these bandolier bags whose creation is documented or attributed to Sophia Smith,  my eyes quickly notice the similarity in use of blue beads, the dark green leaves with lightened veins, and the overall flow of each design.   I particularly like how the artist uses different colors for vines, rather than sticking to the obvious color of green.  And I appreciate how each piece is finished with a different style of bead fringe. "

Interview with Marcia G. Anderson, April 2011

Commentary on the Beadwork of Sophia Smith