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HEADDRESSES

Native American Warbonnets are no doubt one of the most popular Native American icons from American Indian history. Used by various Plains Indian Tribes, the most notable being the Navajo, Sioux, Crow, Blackfeet and Cheyenne, native warbonnets often appear in historic photography as being reserved for formal occasions. For the early Native American, the breath-taking headdress was more-than an ornament. As with all the other things used and worn, the headdress had special meaning and significance. It was an expression of beliefs. It was believed that one acquired the powers of other animals, birds and objects by wearing or carrying these items. From them the warrior was able to gather added wisdom and insight and incorporate them into his daily life. The bonnet had to be earned through brave deeds in battle. Because each feather signified the deeds themselves, some warriors might obtain only two or three honor feathers in their whole lifetime. The bonnet was also a mark of highest respect because it could never be worn without the consent of the leaders of the tribe. A high honor was received, for example, by the warrior who was the first to touch an enemy fallen in battle, for this meant the warrior was at the very front of fighting. Feathers were notched and decorated to designate an event, and they told individual stories such as capturing an enemy's weapon and shield, and whether the deed had been done on horseback or foot. A chief's war bonnet is comprised of feathers received for good deeds to his community and is worn in high honor. Boot Star is very proud to offer these exquisite works of Native American art.