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The artist, Akwirano:ron Martin Loft, writes: "A Kostowah (literally a man's feather hat) is considered the national symbol of our nation. The Mohawk headdress features three upright eagle feathers at the top of the headdress. Spread throughout the kostowah are split wild turkey feathers and fluff. Interspersed throughout the feathers are various charms, beads and items that reflect the individual's personality. The headdress is intended to be worn by a Bear Clan member as the front silver brooch features a pair of bear paws with scalloped edging. Throughout the headband area are numerous brooches with typical Iroquois motifs: sky domes, lightening bolts, a wampum belt styled figure with a gourd rattle and a condolence cane. The cane is used to recite the 50 chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy and the rattle is used in ceremony. The beadwork on the headdress is a contrast of red and blue. The red is said to signify the activities of the day; while the blue a symbol of the night. Together, the two colors represent the present. This kostowah is a contemporary piece of Mohawk craftsmanship/art and could be worn at a community powwow, social, or ceremony. It is a reflection of ancient techniques incorporating a modern indigenous aesthetic."


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creator   Martin Loft (Akwiranoron)
date   2003
location   Kahnawake [Caughnawaga], Quebec, Canada
height (sight)   16.0"
width (sight)   18.5"
process/materials   beads, velvet, feathers, ribbon, silver
item type   Ceremonial Artifact/
accession #   #2003.62.03

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