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Quetions about Gustoweh?

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  • Quetions about Gustoweh?

    Please forgive me if my spelling is incorrect, gustoweh, gustowah. I was wondering what is used under the feathers, if it is wood what kind of wood is being used. Is the wood wrapped with cloth or leather? One more question, can somebody please give me a run down on the feathers on top, I do know mohawks have three up and I think Oneida's hae two up one down, please help me with the rest of the affiliated tribes.

  • #2
    Some Help


    I am not of the North East, but I think that I can help a bit.

    Here is a link to a site with some simple ink drawings that can help you with the feather arrangement for each Tribe of the Haudenosaunee.
    Here is another link with info on the Headress and the Wampum of the Haudenosaunee:

    You will more than likely find more if you use several search engines.

    As for the materials: If you want it to really fit the time they were extremely popular then Tradition calls for a wood frame (preferabley Ash) covered with cloth. You can use trade cloth (solid color) or even leather. If you use trade cloth make sure to use colors of the 17th and 18th centures only. Also traditions calls that most of the feathers be split and just a little bit of decoration should be on the trade cloth - either a few rows of wampum beadwork or some trade silver or a silver or copper or even brass band.

    More modern ones have all kinds of cloth and all kinds of beadwork including seed beads, etc.

    Do more research online and in some books and museums - look for some originals that have survived.



    • #3
      he's got it pretty well covered there.. Tuscarora don't have any upright eagle feathers but they can have an eagle feather on their gustoweh , it's just that it's hung off the side or off the back, never placed in any of the upright positions.
      Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic


      • #4

        Also, wanted to add:

        Please don't do the ball cap thing - (you know cut off the brim and sew or tie feathers to it). It is not the same. I have seen to many Gustowehs and other Headresses done this way (Bonnets, Mandans, etc.). Some look OK but only a few look great because many dancers don't cover the cap very well.

        And besides, you want to be not only Traditional but Historical as well - so use the wood frame and the trade cloth if at all possible.



        • #5

          first you have to decide what time period you're using for your regalia, and then orient your gustoweh to that time period. my regalia used to be what some would call "traditional." sort of old style. now it's still considered traditional, but with a little modern twist. and i find it's more fun now where i can try different things without being confined. both my gustowehs are made with black ash splints, just because that's what i prefer and i think it's sturdier. others are made from strap leather like a belt. the split feathers are commomly wild turkey. some use the domestic "white" turkey, others more fortunate have red tailed hawk or eagle. some of us attach a partridge tail to the front for added decoration. also a favorite trend lately is to attach 4 to 6 red tailed hawk tail feathers and 8 to 10 wing feathers to the back of the hat. but it's either or, and not both. hope this helps.
          Ohenton Kariwahtekwen


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