Species Determination of the Feathers on Native American Warboonets and other Objects from the Collections of the National Museum – Náprstek Museum
Kateřina Klápš, Josef Rajchard , Jan Procházka
This study, straddling the boundary between ornithology and ethnography, aims to contribute to the complexity of male feathered artefacts from the North American Plains and Prairies, since information on the species composition of feathers used on ethnographic objects is not often thoroughly covered in ethnographic literature. In total, 16 bird species (or genus and family in the birds classified only into genus or family) were found in 24 objects. The majority of artefacts contained the feathers of the golden eagle, the bald eagle, the wild turkey and the Red-tailed Hawk. Feathers from other species were less represented. The main topic of the study is research into the determination and application of the feathers used in the manufacture of Plains and Prairies warbonnets. The study also deals with the meaning of eagle feathers, which symbolised the highest honour that a warrior could obtain.