Cock-of-the-rock feather headdress


Cock-of-the-rock feather headdress

Amazonian people

South America

ETHNN.889

What is this and what is it made of? This is a headband or diadem made of Guianan cock-of-the-rock breast feathers, (Rupicola rupicola). The bright orange male cock-of-the-rock is a spectacular bird that shows off its plumage in communal displays called leks to attract females.

Where does it come from? We don’t know exactly where this headdress comes from, but the Guianan cock-of-the-rock is only found in the northern part of the Amazon basin.

How are the birds caught? Amerindian people collect feathers in a number of ways. For feather ornaments, it is very important not to damage the feathers, so the birds are rarely harmed. Sometimes they are reared as pets, particularly in the case of parrots. Birds such as the cock-of-the-rock are more likely to be hunted with blowguns or with bows and arrows that can reach high into the forest canopy. Hunting is a highly skilled job, always done by men who learn when they are small children. The hunters often use special blunt arrows to stun rather then kill the birds. Traps, nets, decoys and torches are other methods frequently used to catch wild rainforest birds.

Linked objects:

Macaw feather headdress

Amazon parrot feather head or neck ornament