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Niagara Beadwork Hat

Date: ca. 1870
3 3/4 x 11 x 6 1/4 in. (9.5 x 27.9 x 15.9 cm.)
Medium: beadwork on black cloth and velvet
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of Jonathan and Karin Fielding
Object Number: 2016.25.5
Label Text:A product of the intersection of two cultures -- Native American and Victorian-era Euro-American -- this "Glengarry cap" from Niagara Falls, New York, decorated with intricate floral beadwork, was made by Iroquois women to be sold to tourists. The making and selling of such souvenirs -- including beaded purses, gloves, wallets, and belts -- was a means of economic survival for local indigenous peoples. The hat's popular "Niagara floral style" beadwork was designed to appeal to Victorian tastes, and its Glengarry style was derived from Scottish Highland dress, made familiar by military uniforms worn by British soldiers in Canada.