Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

men's feathered ornament
  • unknown Ayoreo maker
  • men's feathered ornament, late 1800s–1976
  • Where object was made: Gran Chaco, Paraguay
  • Amazon parrot feathers, plant fiber
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 76 x 19 x 4 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 29 7/8 x 7 1/2 x 1 9/16 in
  • Gift of Robert J. Smith
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5576

The ornament is made from four thick strands of parrot feathers. Each strand has a long section of short feathers that are attached to a plant fiber cord, the method of knotting leaving only feathers visible. One of the strands is mostly black feathers with bands of green feathers at the top and bottom and with pink, yellow, and black and white feathers in the bundle. One strand is made of all green feathers with a bundle of black and white striped and green feathers at the bottom. One strand is wide bands of green, black, and green feathers with a bundle of green and red feathers and black, white, and brown striped feathers. The fourth strand is almost all black feathers with a bundle of green, red and yellow feathers and plain black feathers.

At the end of each strand is a bundle of longer feathers. At the top, the four strands of plant fiber are tied to together.

The long string is tied around the neck and the feather ropes hang down the back. These are worn on the same occasions as the shoulder feathers. They were worn only by men.