Man's Bone Flute Necklace, "awa-tukaniwar" in Ka'apor
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.
Feathers, fiber, bird skins, cotton cloth, bone
9 x 30 x 1 1/2 in. (22.9 x 76.2 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Man's neck ornament composed of two narrow panels covered with dark gray and turquoise feathers (it looks like bird skins are sewn to cotton cloth); a front pendant with a hollow bird-bone flute flanked by two small bird bodies and long red Scarlet macaw feathers; and a smaller back pendant made of outspread bird wings surrounded by additional feathers. Each section is attached with a fiber cord. The bird bodies (Cotinga?) on the front pendant are small and flattened with attached feathers in purple, white, turquoise blue, black, gray, and red; the bird bodies are surrounded by six long red Scarlet Macaw feathers, which are decorated with disks of turquoise and dark blue feathers at the tips. The bird body on the back pendant has two outspread black wings, a turquoise feather disk and a small red feather, surrounded by additional blue, yellow and orange feathers. The ornament is worn during a male child's naming ceremony during which the flute is played.
Condition: good; one of the turquoise feather disks on the long red Scarlet Macaw feathers is missing.
This item is not on view
Kaapor. Man's Bone Flute Necklace, "awa-tukaniwar" in Ka'apor, 20th century. Feathers, fiber, bird skins, cotton cloth, bone, 9 x 30 x 1 1/2 in. (22.9 x 76.2 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 88.89.10. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 88.89.10_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 88.89.10_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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