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Plateau horned bonnet with feathered trailer

Published: 04.04.2020

Here is an outstanding ermine horned bonnet with a crest of feathers from Smithsonian, cat # E-357475, from Victor Evans collectiom, which for a long time has been considered Blackfoot without any proof (the Museum card says that "# 357475 was catalogued as Cheyenne... John C. Ewers exhibited the headdress as Blackfoot in NHB Exhibit Hall 9. Therefore, in consultation with Candace Greene, it has been decided to continue to call it Blackfoot. - F. Pickering 3-7-2005"). I made a small research in my archive and found many historic photographs, which document the Walla-Walla headman No Shirt (b.1845 d.1917) wearing the bonnet as a part of his tradtional regalia. So it's highly likely that it's original owner was Chief No Shirt of Walla-Walla tribe.

 

In terms of construction the bonnet features a number of distinctive traits: hooded cap to support split buffalo horns; Plateau-style wide trailer of 3 layers of green, red and greenish-grey felt; brass-tacked browband beading with a golden bullion fringe (perhaps a part of a masonic sash or a military epaulette); eagle feathers tipped with alternating red and yellow horse hair; bunches of red wool instead of hackles as a decoration at the base of the feathers.

 

 

 

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