- Museum number
Chief's head-dress constructed of the immature tail feathers of a golden eagle, the tips decorated with horse hair, constructed over a skull cap with a beaded front band. Ermin strips symmetrically hang from both sides.
Height: 83 centimetres
Width: 48 centimetres
Depth: 54 centimetres
- Curator's comments
JCH King `First Peoples, First Contacts' British Museum Press 1999, p. 268:
"Yellow Calf's feather bonnet, constructed of the immature tail feathers of a golden eagle, the tips decorated with hair symbolizing scalp-locks. Such flaired headdresses, constructed as here over a skull cap with a beaded front band, were originally representative of war honours."
Formerly the property of a chief of the Arapaho tribe named Yellow Calf of Ethete, Wyoming, USA.
Collected in 1927, Yellow Calf, died in 1938.
See also article on the Chase Manhattan Gallery in BM magazine Summer 1999 by JCH King
There is a photograph of Chief Yellow Calf in the Bm Pictorial Collection. See Am,B28.26
Email from Dr I Coates, National Museum, Canberra Feb 2011: [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 01 February 2011 04:15
To: Jonathan King
Subject: Re: 2011
Im attaching images of a BM letter I located whilst working on the Australian collections, about an American object which I know you have worked on. Im not sure if you have come across this letter. Mathews mention of a film is interesting, and I assume the mention of the photograph is the one catalogued as Am,B28.26. Im not sure if the record for this image notes the source as Mathews.
I also noticed that the BM's photo is very similar to one held in the University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center's Ludwig-Svenson Collection , and would appear to have been photographed on the same occasion. http://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu:8180/luna/servlet Ref ah303323.jpg
anyway hope all goes well.
Obtained from Gregory Mathews who wrote about Australian matters to the Museum on June 18 1939 from Meadway, St Cross, Winchester (AOA archives). He said: 'Under separate cover I send you the actual chiefs head dress used in the film. This is a genuine one & was the personal property of the Chief Yellow Calf who gave it me in 1927 (September 28; keep the photo with the head dress) These head dresses, as I'm sure you know are only worn on special occasions. Not as sometimes depicted in books, when out hunting or playing. Yellow Calf was either a Sch-shone or Arapaho Indian. If it is important please write The Rev. A Abbott Hastings, St Paul Church, Troy, New York. I think it would be best to make quite certain, as there may be some slight difference which future writers may value. Let me know if this is of any interest to your museum, if so please keep it.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1976-1977 7 Oct-16 Jan, London, The Hayward Gallery
1977 16 Apr-19 Jun, Kansas City, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Sacred Circles: 2,000 Years of North American Indian Art
1987 1 Oct-1989 21 May, Museum of Mankind, Room 7; Treasures from the Ethnographic Collections
1999 25 Jun-2001 1 Sep, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The American West"
2010 6 Jan-5 Apr, British Museum, Room 91, Warriors of the Plains: 200 years of Native North American honour and ritual
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number