1954.2.105

Ceremonial feather hat: a crown of twill plaited basketry surrounded with cut macaw feathers, black powis feathers and a thick band of cotton yarn. At the back are two long macaw feathers decorated with duck down. [LM 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 6/12/2005]

Place details: S AMERICA. Guyana / Mazaruni River. Cultural Group: South America, Ingarikó, Akawaio: Local Name: Waialamuk Materials: Bird Feather / Cotton Yarn Plant / Plant Fibre / ?. Processes: Twill Plaited / Basketry / ?. Colour: Red Blue Natural Dimensions: Max H = 660 mm Max Diam = 280 mm Field Collector: Audrey J Butt-Colson When Collected: 1951 - 1952 Other Owners: Audrey J Butt-Colson PRM Source: Audrey J. Butt-Colson Acquired: Donated February 1954

KEYWORD: Hat / Headdress / CLASS: Clothing Headgear / Ritual and Ceremonial / Dance / Basketry / ?.

Object description: Ceremonial feather hat: a crown of twill plaited basketry surrounded with cut macaw feathers, black powis feathers and a thick band of cotton yarn. At the back are two long macaw feathers decorated with duck down. [LM 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 6/12/2005]

Publications history, trails & websites: In essay by Peter Riviere and illustrated in black and white as figure 172 on page 157 of Basketmakers Meaning and Form in Native American Baskets, edited by Linda Mowat, Howard Morphy and Penny Dransart (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, University if Oxford, Mongraph 5, 1992). Caption reads: 'Guyana, Upper Mazaruni district, Akawaio. Man’s ceremonial hat made from a framework of twill plaited reed surrounded with macaw feathers, black powis feathers and a thick band of cotton yarn. Two long protruding macaw feathers are decorated with duck down and worn at the back of the head. Formerly worn for war or celebrations; more recently for the symbolic dance of cassava growing. H: 600 mm. Collected by Audrey Button Colson, 1951-52. 1954.2.105' [MJD 16/01/2013]

This object was featured in the Museum's on-line fact sheet ‘South American Feather Headdresses’ produced during the DCF-funded 'What's Upstairs?' project, 2004–2006. [BR 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 8/11/2005]

This object was featured in the Museum’s ‘web gallery’ (‘Selected Objects from the Lower Gallery’) produced during the DCF-funded ‘What’s Upstairs?’ project, 2004–2006, with the following caption: ‘This headdress was collected among the Akawaoi in Guyana. Headdresses such as this were traditionally worn by men at ceremonies, or by the leader of a war party. It is made from macaw feathers, black powis feathers, and a thick cotton band. The two long macaw feathers are decorated with duck down and were worn at the back of the head.' [BR 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 9/11/2005]

Illustrated in colour on page 22 of Particularly Ravishing Morsels: Recipes from Around the World Inspired by the Collections, by The Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum (no place [Oxford], no publisher [Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum], no date [2007]). It is used to illustrate a recipe for 'Guyana Pepper Pot' by Doreen Douglas and is captioned 'Headdress decorated with blue macaw and black powis feathers, worn at celebrations such as the symbolic dance of cassava growing. Mazaruni River, Akawaio, Guyana. 1954.2.105' [El.B 29/04/2008]

Research notes: Andrew Gosler and Juan Gonzalez, during a research visit, thought that the black feathers were from the powis bird. They were uncertain about the identity of the other feathers. [ROH 07/03/2012]

For notes on the Amazonian featherwork and related material on display in the Museum in April 2016, including this object, with suggestions regarding provenance and species identification, see the untitled report by Andreas Schlothauer and related correspondence in the RDF: Researchers: Andreas Schlothauer. [JC 8 7 2016]

Related Documents File - Typed manuscript: 'AKAWAIO INDIAN PLANT NAMES by D.B. FANSHAWE Deputy Conservator of Forests British Guiana.'

Miss Butt's list of specimens from British Guiana, entitled 'ETHNOLOGICAL ARTICLES OBTAINED FROM THE AKOWOIO TRIBE OF THE UPPER MAZARUNI DISTRICT OF BRITISH GUIANA FOR THE PITT RIVERS MUSEUM, OXFORD.' This list is divided into sections such as 'Decorative', 'Toys', 'Travelling', and so on, and has been annotated with the accession numbers. [MOB 5/2/2002]