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Pair of Ear Ornaments

Arts of the Americas

The Ka’apor refer to their feather adornments as putir (flowers). Ornaments such as these delicate wristbands and the large comb are worn by both men and women on special occasions. The comb (kiwaw-putir) is attached to either the bangs, so the danglers of toucan and curassow feathers frame the face, or the back of the hair with the danglers falling over the shoulders. The thin wristbands (arará) are made of precisely trimmed scarlet macaw breast feathers.

Ka’apor featherwork alludes to the legendary exploits of the cultural hero Maíra, who created the world and all its peoples and wears the same regalia. The production of feather ornaments therefore reinforces connections to the Creator and Ka’apor identity, a cultural practice that is threatened by habitat loss and diminishing bird populations.
MEDIUM Feathers, fiber
DATES 20th century
DIMENSIONS 3 × 3 × 1/4 in. (7.6 × 7.6 × 0.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Kaapor. Pair of Ear Ornaments, 20th century. Feathers, fiber, 3 × 3 × 1/4 in. (7.6 × 7.6 × 0.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 88.89.2a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 88.89.2a-b_acetate_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 88.89.2a-b_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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