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Excerpt from the Thaw Catalog: The Plains Indian, on horseback with his feather headdress streaming in the wind, has captured the imagination of the entire world. (c.f. Coe 1976, fig. 431; Hail 1980, figs. 79-82; Walton, Ewers and Hassrick 1985, fig. 51) This headdress was created to move in the ever-present wind on the Plains to achieve a desired effect. No visual art form has a more dynamic quality. Usually referred to as a 'war bonnet,' this type of headdress symbolized the ultimate recognition of a warrior's achievements in warfare. This is apparent in all its details, eagle feathers, blood-red wrappings, and also the stars pictured on the cotton foundation of the trailer. Used in American celebrations of a political nature, this bunting appealed to the Native peoples because stars were traditionally associated with war power, and stars decorate the American flag. Herbst and Kopp 1993, p.110, fig.110; Museum of Our National Heritage 1994 - 1995.
height 89 in ; width 22 in