Ethnic1pagesMystery bag

The Mystery Bag

The Mystery Bag (scroll down for moreinformation)


A couple of years ago I posted the following question: "Does anybody have a clue where this bag is from? I bought it and have no idea whence it originates. It is about 7" x 9",apparently of cotton, with metal beads, metal lace & sequins. Please if you can identify it." I continue to receivean amazing diversity of replies, so I'm I'm feelingfar less like an idiot than I did when I first had to post the question.I'm not sure who to believe (somewhere in the swath between Afghanistan andTurkey sounds likely, on the other hand it also somewhat resembles a bunch ofsupposedly Moroccan bags I bought from an ex hippy at a garage sale...) Icontinue to be interested in people's guesses, and would be delighted if anyonehas pictures of a similar bag. In all events, it is truly earning the name"The Mystery Bag".

See below to read some of the guesses people have made sofar:

hey there! I just visited your site and found out that u were wondering where thesehandcraft are from. I was born in Burma and lived there all of my life. And I am 100% sure that , they are fromBurma. You might get these stuffs from Thailand coz most of handcraft are sent toThailand. Burma doesn't have any international business. So send to Thailand is the only way toexport,

It looks like it is from Turkey. That is my guess.

Some bags here look similar:

My family has a bag that is similar....My great grandparents are from theIsle of Rhodes with their parents from Turkey. I believe it is from Turkeywith Persian roots! Hope this helps! :)

Morocco I expect.

I believe that it was made by Afghani women. The fuchsia color and the fringe lead me to think this.

I am no expert. The bag you showed pictured on a web page resembles one I purchased from the Hmong Hilltribe people in northwest Thailand near the border with MyanMar (Burma). Both the tassels and the sequins are characteristic of that area (note the dull metal sequins on kalagas).

Hi! I am the "no expert" who first answered your mystery bag plea for ideas. In fact I bought two bags from the Hmong people.They are of recent origin, made to sell to tourists for 50 baht (about $2.00 at the time, I believe, maybe less). I just got a digitalcamera, and I also just stumbled onto your page again, seeing the subsequent opinions and your plea for pictures. So, I draped thetwo bags next to my antique and very valuable kalaga purchased on the same trip, and took some shots for you (see attachments).





Maybe a Kazak tent bag? It has some of the same characteristics and

including the horned design. There are also some kazak appliquéd rugs that

have similar designs.

I would say that is about right if it is from Thailand. it kinda looks

Tibetan though too

I believe it is from India

I would say Guatemala or Mexico.

IT is from Burma probably from hills tribe and it was sent to Thailand

I am from Turkey and your bag resembles Heybe which are traditional bags

that are meant to hold the Kuran but are often used as household

decoration or even as a fashion accessory today. I have seen Heybe made

of many different textiles...some are made of carpet, some of

traditional Turkish killim or woven wool carpet, they can also be

knitted or made of printed fabric. It looks like it may also have some

silver metal embellishment, which is characteristic of Turkish artworks.


It looks Chinese to me but not the colors.

Maybe from tribal peoples in one of the

countries bordering China.

I am sure this bag origins from somewhere in India, maybePoona because

the colors and the style look a lot like out - don't you think so?

Hi there. I am researching the history of the pocket for my design thesis in

university now, and I have seen this pouch tradition started in the

Palestine region, during the 500-1000 AD. they used to be called “amonieres

sarrasimoises,” or Saracen almsbags. but today they are made all the time in

Turkey for casual wear.

This bag also resembles bags from Dalecarlia in Sweden, but they do not havesilver ribbons and pearls as far as I know. I think

those bags were quite common in Europe during first part av the 19th century.

I also am no expert, but have been interested in Middle Eastern costuming for 20 years. It bears some resemblance to Baruch Afghani work, anomadic tribe that resides in southwest Afghanistan on the edge of the Dasht-i-Margo (Desert of Death). The embroidery is pretty typical ofMiddle Eastern patterns that I've seen, from Palestine to Afghanistan. What makes me think that it is Afghani is that it appears to be made of aonce-larger piece of embroidered silk (often from an old bodice cut out from a treasured dress that could no longer be repaired) with tasselsadded for decoration. The tassels are the most strongly Afghani thing about it. I have a fan from Afghanistan which is cut in a semi-circular

piece from a once-larger garment (see comment above) whose handle is a straight carved piece of wood, which has tassels (very similar to theones on your bag) all along the semi-circular edge. Little items like a bag or fan or what-have-you are often made from dresses that can nolonger be repaired, or whose bodice embroidery starts looking pretty ratty, but the rest of the dress can still be put to good use. Little thingslike that can travel, being traded hand to hand, from Turkey to Pakistan. I think that accounts for the wide similarity of embroidery patternsthroughout the Middle East. Like I said, I'm no expert, but that's my best guess.

I'm guessing that it's oriental. It could be either Indian or Thai.

I agree with the Asian/Middle Eastern origin - it is very reminiscent of

items from Baluchistan, near where I grew up. That sort of embroidery and

silver decoration is very common across the area, into Afghanistan and

across even into Eastern Europe. I doubt you will ever find out where it

really came from.

I think it is "Hencho en Mexico"

My husband deals in textiles from Afghanistan, and iscertain that it was made there. We have some examplesof small Persian bags made to carry prayer stones thatwe could send you pictures of if you are interested.We share your fascination with ethnic textiles andwould love to correspond with you. We recently

purchased an Afghani nomad's dress from the mid 1800'sand would be very interested in what you may have tosay.

The bag appears to be a classic Hmong (Thai hilltribe) purse, from the appearance, dimensions, the apparent "dok" weave, andeven the sequins and tassels. However, for it to be made of cotton, if it is Hmong, would be unusual. Perhaps it is a coarse silkor some type of flax (linen).

I also got this bag

PortfolioPortfolioscans2Bag2.jpgfrom the same garage sale, and have no idea where it originates either.

Product Links

let me knowTribalBags at TribalMax

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