520 East 72nd Street, 2C (By Appointment Only) New York City, NY 10021 United States 212.439.9257
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Nez Perces cornhusk and wool hat

Origin United States
Period 19th Century
Materials cornhusk and Germantown wools
H. 6.5 in; Diam. 7 in;
H. 16.51 cm; Diam. 17.78 cm;
Condition Good. excellent condition
Creation Date 1890-1910
Description The Nez Perces Indians were semi-nomadic, traditionally providing sustenance by fishing and hunting and gathering. They became horse breeders and traded with other peoples. They lived in the Columbia River Plateau and generally lived in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana. They needed protection from the weather and twined cornhusk into hats as well as into bags of varied sizes that helped protect them from the elements. They also wore them during ceremonial events.

Neighboring tribes in the Plateau area made similar hats, especially the Yakima Indians. Because their weaving is difficult to distinguish from those of the Nez Perces, without documentation as being Yakima, cornhusk bags and hats are often referred to as being "Nez Perces". The Nez Perces were the largest tribe in the area.

This cornhusk hat is a beautiful example of a Nez Perces hat. It is twined out of cornhusk and wools that came from the mills of Germantown Pennsylvania (acquired through trade). The design is false-embroidered, meaning that the colored elements appear in the design but are not carried through the inside as design. This is an excellent example of an early Plateau cornhusk hat.
Styles / Movements American Indian, Traditional
Dealer Reference Number B0893
Incollect Reference Number 354267
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