Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

chest ornament
  • Venezuela
  • chest ornament, late 1800s–1928
  • Where object was made: Venezuela
  • red-billed toucan feathers, plant fiber, pigment, seeds, snail shells, bones, beetles
  • Object Height/Width: 66 x 46 cm height does not include tie strings
    Object Height/Width: 26 x 18 1/8 in height does not include tie strings
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6870

The large chest ornament is made from bark cloth. It is roughly pentagon-shaped with a deep rounded notch at the top edge. The front is fully covered with brightly colored feathers. There are three circles of blue, outlined with small grey seeds and an orange triangular shape in points at the top, also outlined with small grey seeds. The two rounded rows of red and yellow feathers have light grey seeds at the top of each. There is a row of iridescent blue-green beetle wings between and beetled bodies scattered between the decorative elements. The entire ornament is outlined with small grey seeds. The bottom edge has light grey seed fringe accented with snail shells, small bones and brown nuts.

There is plant fiber string at the top corners to fasten around the neck.