- Museum number
Feathered belt made with lattice of morototo seed beads, natural brown and dyed black, threaded on cotton twine with tassles of red-dyed protium decandrum seeds and Angolan chicken feathers which are dyed green.
- Production date
Height: 14 centimetres
Width: 153 centimetres
Depth: 5 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Feathered Belt – katami tporokyem in Wai Wai. This belt is used by men during festivals/gatherings when all the waiwai villages come together. This is particularly in April/December dates associated now with Christian events of Easter and Christmas. Belts such as this are traditionally made by women. The cotton thread is bought from shops and thinly threaded through the seeds to create a lattice of strung seeds. The cotton is locally called Barbante, a type of cotton twine.
The seeds are hand drilled, in the old days this was done with fish teeth but now it is done with metal wire. The seeds are called Morototo in Portuguese and Karakru in Waiwai and collected locally in areas where the Wai Wai practice swidden agriculture. Some of the seeds are dyed black using the leaf of a plant called karayuru in Waiwai, The leaves are put in water for a long time, many days, then after that they put seeds in, then bring it to the boil for a whole day until all seeds are jet black.
The fruits seeds in the tassles next to the feathers are dried seeds from the xoroxoro yepu tree, name in Wai Wai.
These are dyed red using the same karayuru leaves as described above but just bringing to boil immediately after placeing the leaves and seeds in the water and taking out quickly.
The painted feathers are Angolan Chicken, in Portuguese gallina d’Angola. The white dots are natural and the green is dyed.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- 25 jan 2018
- Acquisition notes
- Object acquired from Rodrigo Wahta Wai Wai on the occasion of his visit to the Wai Wai collections of the British Museum organised by Brazilian anthroplogist Cinthya Lana from Kings Colleged London.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number