Great piece of beadwork - Maliseet beadwork is not very common. This piece with great design and excellent condition is a great find! This has been viewed by some Maliseet elders and one of them said her mother used to make pieces very much like this one. She said it was for holding your brush and comb. I have seen these called "match holders" - could have been used for either/both purposes.
This has beautiful circular designs, one on each "pocket" and a larger one at the top. "1916" is added at the bottom - so this piece is nearly 100 years old... great shape for 98! Notice that the bead designs are not done over paper cut-outs as is common in Iroquois beadwork? No raised bead designs.. No floral designs either. Maliseet work has it's own style and techniques - not so different from Iroquois, but the differences are there. Here the outlining beads are transparent green, solid white beads and transparent red and gold are used in the design. There are some very unusual translucent aqua blue beads. There is a top beaded "hanger" of mostly clear beads. There are 2 metal sequins in the design as well.
This is 7" long, bead dangles hang 1.25" below the bottom of the piece. It is 5" at widest and the 2 pockets are 1.25" deep.
The fabric is tan cotton twill, the back and inside of the pockets are done in pink polished cotton.