What Is ‘Good Hair’? – Personhood, Ritual, and Resurgence of Bodily Adornment among the Equestrian Blackfoot
Author(s): Maria Zedeno
This is an abstract from the "Silenced Rituals in Indigenous North American Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Painting and writing from Fort Union Trading Post, North Dakota in the 1830s, George Catlin greatly admired Plains Indian coifs, body paint, and insignia, painstakingly describing each individual’s appearance. Contemporary descendants of Blackfoot warriors whom Catlin painted, joyfully display their portraits as evidence of the ancestors’ bravery and status. Through portraits, photographs, and artifacts, this paper examines popular and unique objects and substances of bodily adornment, beginning with pre-contact burial customs and continuing through the Colonial and Reservation periods to: (1) scrutinize the interplay between deep tradition and European-influenced innovation in ritually and socially charged bodily adornment, and (2) examine the effects of Federal religious proscription on the persistence of traditional regalia among the reservation-era Piikani (Montana Blackfeet). The paper concludes with an assessment of the strategies followed by contemporary Blackfoot traditionalists to faithfully maintain or reproduce ritual regalia and its current ritual and personal significance.
Cite this Record
What Is ‘Good Hair’? – Personhood, Ritual, and Resurgence of Bodily Adornment among the Equestrian Blackfoot. Maria Zedeno. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450670)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Abstract Id(s): 22879