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Home » Archive » War Bonnets (Archived) » Northern Plains Feather War Bonnet (replica)
Northern Plains Feather War Bonnet (replica)
Premium-quality inspirational recreation of late 19th c. Northern Plains feather war bonnet with a short trade cloth trailer. This bonnet is the best of what I made thus far....
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An inspirational recreation of a Northern Plains bonnet loosely based on the original war bonnet from circa 60s to the 70s of the 19th century. Made by me from 28 natural valture feathers each with stiff rawhide loop, red trade cloth wrapping ("fire-crackers") and white fluffs at the base.
The skull cap of braintan leather is sewn with real sinew and covered with teal muslin. The buckskin forehead band is done in lazy stitch using seed beads, and features Plains style tipi design on a white background.
Side decorations consist of ermine fur tubes (2 on each side) and fringes along the edges from one end of the browband to another.
In the middle of the crown there is a stripped Sun Dance quill, tipped with a pompon of mixed white and redish feathers, and surrounded with a cluster of cut-and-stripped feathers dyed blue.
In the rear portion underneath the feathers is tied a personal war medicine pouch and a short detachable trailer of blue trade cloth, decorated with ermine fringes at the bottom and backed with a nice old-style red cotton fabric.
Cap circumference: about 62 cm (fits heads 58 — 60 cm).
Made by: Maza Sapa (4 Colors)
Manufacture year: 2017
Tribal style: Assiniboine, Hidatsa, Lakota, Mandan, Yankton Sioux, Yanktonai Sioux
Finishing: Artificial patina
Materilas: Czech beads *, Ermine fur *, Genuine leather *, Genuine vulture feathers *, Horse hair *, Metal beads *, Muslin *, Rawhide *, Real sinew *, Trade cloth *
Cap circumference: 62 cm (fits heads 58 — 60 cm)
Collection: Northern Plains
Insignia type: Feathered war bonnet
☩ I had a very poor quality photograph, it's caption saying that the object depicted is a Cheyenne war bonnet from circa 60s to the 70s of the 19th century. The details were not visible, the feathers were dirty and torn, but it's overall color scheme, which was a combo of dark-green and blue colors, and the presence of a short trailer, seemed to me very significant (and for good reason, because green is the color of Earth, and blue is the color of the Sky, the Thunderbird and other celestial entities). The rest had to be thought up on the basis of this context and is out of my head. Therefore, this replica bonnet is not an exact copy, but a work «based on». Moreover, an exact copy can not be made even by the contemporay Indians themselves, because nowadays no one knows exactly what the earlly headdresses actually looked like, and most importantly, what kind of symbolism their makers intended for them, was any given bonnet a regalia of a particular military society (society bonnet) or it was a so-called personal medicine headdress. And this determines the set of specific materials which it was actually made of.
☩ Also I should add that Northern Plains style Feather War Bonnet with a Short Trailer is a premium-class bonnet made by me in 2017 in a period-correct fashion and using authentic materials. The overall finish and attention to details renders this bonnet a completely believable replica and looks very good to me. Note the pictures and see if you agree. The feathers for this bonnet were collected over several years and then carefully selected by color, shape and size.
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