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You are watching: Ruler’s feather headdress

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Ruler’s Feather Headdress

1. Identification:

Ruler’s feather headdress (more than likely of Motecuhzoma II). Mexica (Aztec). 1428-1520 C.E. Feathers (quetzal and cotinga) and also gold.

2. Description & Formal Analysis of Art:

This headpiece is 46 inches high and also 69 inches across and has the form of concentric layers of different colored feathers. It is arranged in a semicircle to be worn. The smallest is made from blue feathers through little plates of gold in the forms of half moons, inlassist with stones. Behind this is a layer of pink feathers, smaller sized green feathers, and a second layer of white-tipped reddish brown feathers of the cuckoo. Leather straps affix the crvery own to the head of the wearer.

3. Art Making Process (materials and also technique):

The smallest feathers are from the Lady Cotinga blue bird. The pink feathers checked out behind those are from the pink flamingo. Next, the bbest green feathers are from the Quetzal bird, which is indigenous to the area. The remaining feathers are brown, red, and also white, which can be uncovered on the Squirrel Cuckoo bird. None of these birds today are currently extinct or also threatened. Feathered headdresses prefer this one was built with a wstove netting to carry all of the feathers together. It is additionally lined through valuable stones and gems, making the heattend to worth over 50 million dollars because of the product objects within it and it’s historical meaning.

4. Content (subject/iconography):

To the Aztec world, feathers were a sign of wealth and power. The just ones to wear feathered headdresses like this one would be the the upper class, the ruling course, and the miscellaneous gods and goddesses. Feathers had actually a far-reaching religious connotation to them bereason feathers came from birds, and just birds had actually somepoint in prevalent with the gods that humans lacked. Birds can fly, and also so can the “Feathered Serpent”, which was the Aztec god of all production. Wearing a feathered hedeal with was believed to lug those wearing it closer to the gods.

5. Original Context/Audience:

This was made to showcase the power to the Aztec civilians that the gods and also majesties organized, along with the greatness that can be developed by the Aztec civilization to the Spanish inhabitants.

6. Intfinished Function/Purpose:

Some thought that this heattend to was provided by Motecuhzoma as he made his means right into the civilian parts of his city-state to display the godly power he hosted. It is more extensively believed that this hedeal with was a gift from Motecuhzoma to Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes, that later on would certainly cause the downfall of the Aztec empire. With the headdress currently residing in Austria through historians unsure as to exactly how it gained tbelow, a lot of figure that after Cortes got the headdress as a gift, he sent out it to Europe to Spanish King Charles I, later on making its method to an Austrian noble.

7. Thematic or Cross-social connections:

Featherwork-related was additionally prevalent in Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian feather cloaks known as ‘Ahu ‘ula were worn by men in the highest possible Hawaiian social class. Feathered headdresses worn by the Aztecs were built similarly to the featherwork cloaks worn by Hawaiians, yet through very different colored feathers from birds that are native to the area.

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Featheroccupational in both societies were worn to display high rank and also power.