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Man's Headdress

Arts of the Americas

The Ka’apor are known for their spectacular feather ornaments, which they call putir (meaning “flowers”). The finest ornaments, such as this man’s visor and bird-bone flute necklace, are traditionally worn (and the latter played) during naming ceremonies for children. The featherwork art form relates directly to the legendary exploits of the Ka’apor cultural hero Maíra, who created the world and all its peoples and wears regalia of this type. Through stories about Maíra, children learn the symbolism of the ornaments. For example, blue feathers evoke the sky and the supernatural beings who live there. Habitat loss affects birds as well as people, and it may not always be possible to gather the materials to make traditional objects such as these.
MEDIUM Feathers, cotton cords, bird skins
  • Place Made: Brazil
  • DATES 20th century
    DIMENSIONS 10 x 10 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (25.4 x 26.7 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Ingeborg de Beausacq
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Feathered headdress worn by men as a sunshade. Condition: good
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Kaapor. Man's Headdress, 20th century. Feathers, cotton cords, bird skins, 10 x 10 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (25.4 x 26.7 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Ingeborg de Beausacq, 64.248.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 64.248.1_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 64.248.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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