THIS BEAUTIFUL AND RARE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN OTTER SKIN TURBAN HEADDRESS BELONGED TO A PROMINENT SOUTHERN PLAINS KIOWA MAN. Although fur turbans were worn by many different tribes, each tribe had a specific styling for their turbans. This turban's styling and shape is true mid 1800's to present day Kiowa. It has the traditional ribbon work trim (3 colors) in a lightning design encircling the top and along each side of the trailer or tail. Atop the ribbon work on the top and along the sides is traditional detailing of white edge beading (2 beads up and 1 bead over). This edge beading is done in heavy thread. The inside of turban and the back side of the trailer or tail is lined in red/orange wool stroud cloth. The ribbon work colors are: a dark burgundy, a softer shell color and then a mauve. All the colors are faded consistently. The sewing on the ribbon work is machine done, possibly treadle, but I am not for sure, the spacing is very close. The actual turban appears to have been made in the 1920's to the 30's, the inside shows wear and use, the back side of the ribbons are fraying a bit, but turban is not dirty or abused. At a later date, possibly for a veteran's or 4th of July event, a beautiful red whirling red, white, and blue beaded with thread on native hide medallion with a center silver spot was added to the right side of the turban. At that time replacement ribbons of silk burgundy and navy were added beneath the medallion and also at the bottom of the trailer or tail. These ribbons show fading and fraying. At the base of the trailer or tail is a US military hat pin. It is the eagle with a shield on his chest holding a branch in one talon and a cluster or arrows in the other.
CONDITION: Turban has been worn, but fur is not shedding, hide is not breaking or cracking. Other than some shredding of the ribbons inside the top of the turban, the turban is in excellent condition. The turban is strong enough that you wished to wear it, that would not be a problem.
SIZE: Diameter is 7", Height of turban is 4 1/2", Length of trailer or tail from top to bottom is 20" plus 6 1/2" of ribbon, Widest point of trailer is at top and that is 5" (including beads) and narrowest is at bottom and it is 3 1/4".
Thank you for looking, please feel free to ask any questions, we will try to answer quickly and honestly. The Kiowa family name is available to the purchaser. I will need a phone number and a signature upon delivery for my insurance to cover the turban, thanks.
The photograph is of Gui-Tain (Heart of a Young Wolf), a young Kiowa, the nephew of Chief Lone Wolf. He wears the fur cap which distinguishes the on-de, even though he was a nephew of the chief he had to earn the right to wear the turban by his bravery, generosity and general popularity within the tribe. Circa early 1800's.
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