Michigan Quilt Project
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North American Indian and Native Hawaiian Quilt Collection

Star of Bethlehem
Margaret Ogahmahgegedo
Odawa, Agosatown, Leelanau County, Michigan
66" x 75”
MSUM 6814.1; Gift of Florence L. Hanes
Photo by Doug Elbinger, all rights reseved by the Michigan State University Museum

According to James M. McClurken, co-author with James A. Clifton and George L. Cornell, of People of the Three Fires: The Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibway of Michigan, the star and floral motifs exhibited in this quilt are typical of components of Ottawa designs. Each square and triangle formed against the white background by the center star is filled with floral designs that embellish the central design and mimic designs depicted in earlier porcupine quill work and beaded pieces of the same region. It is probable that Native Americans began quilting after the Grand Traverse Mission period; the first person who was recorded to have had furniture in his home, and thus have a need for domestic furnishings such as quilts, was Agosa, who lived on Old Mission penninsula during the mid 1840s.

Mrs. Ogahmahgegedo
Margaret Ogahmahgegedo

The donor, Florence Lackie Hanes, writes that her father, Walter Lackie, acquired it "as a trade for some farm goods. Always treasured by the family, and never used [it is] just called the Indian Quilt." The quiltmaker was known to the family as Mrs. Ogahmahgegedo, but further research has revealed that she may also have been known as Catherine or Jenny Steele. She lived in a settlement known as Ahgosatown, located between Omena and Northport, Michigan.

From Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a Textile Tradition

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