Amazon Featherwork

Part of Hall of South American Peoples.

A model of a human adorned with face paint of vertical red stripes, a horizontal nose piercing through the septum with a thin rod with long colorful feathers at each end, many strings of beaded necklaces around the neck and feather arm bands.

The Museum's Amazon featherwork comes from the native peoples of the Amazon Basin, whose survival is now in danger along with that of the rain forest. Deforestation is rapidly increasing the loss of both crucial natural resources and human cultures in the Amazon.

None of the highly stylized feathered adornments on display carries strictly religious significance. While they are worn for ceremonial occasions, they are also worn at other times. They do not denote social or political status, either, as these are egalitarian tribes.