Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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small feathered cape
  • Venezuela
  • small feathered cape, late 1800s–1928
  • Where object was made: Venezuela
  • blue and gold macaw feathers, plum throated cotinga, red-billed toucan feathers, bark cloth, pigment, seeds, beetles
  • Object Height/Width: 41 x 55 cm
    Object Height/Width: 16 1/8 x 21 5/8 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2755
Description
Inscriptions/Signature

The small cape-like garment is made of bark cloth. It is rectangular with a rounded bottom edge, and twisted cords for ties in the upper corners. The top 1/4 of the plant fiber panel is painted with a red grid. The remainder of the panel is covered with red and yellow feathers. There is the carcass of a plum throated cotinga, a blue and purple bird, with its beak pointed downward, and wings tucked in. There are iridescent green beetles on either side of the bird's shoulders. The bird is in an area defined by large round light grey seeds. An area on either side of the bird is also encompassed by these seeds, and the area is filled with yellow and blue feathers. These three areas are jointed by another meandering row of the same seeds, forming one large panel. The space within the large panel, but between the small panels, has an iridescent green beetle, or an iridescent green beetle wing.

The cape is bordered with grey seeds and brown seeds. The rounded edge has fringe made up of these grey seeds with larger brown seed pods at the end of each fringe.