"Native cap of ermine skins and beads"
CATALOG NO: 90451
OBJECT TYPE: ermine hat with beaded pendants
This headdress collected on the Alaska Peninsula in 1883 combines
spiritually powerful land and sea predators -- ermine and pelagic
cormorant -- in a ceremonial headdress. Three ermines with beads
attached to their jaws, nostrils, and ears project from the brim over
an elaborate beaded brow panel. The ermine skins are quilted into a
base of cormorant skins, and red wool and grey hair tassels hang from
the sides of the headdress. Beaded pendants "obstruct" the danceršs
vision, a necessary requirement for certain dances. Obstructed vision
is also a characteristic of Siberian shaman hats.
-William Fitzhugh & Aron Crowell (1988)