Shuar kuit

Worn by men in rites and festivals to assert identification with the celestial birds. This apron would have been traded with other indigenous groups as a means of obtaining tools and services, and to reinforce obligations. They were also sold as tourist souvenirs.

A retired nuclear engineer, who was acting advisor to the Atomic Energy Commission of Ecuador in Quito, purchased this item in 1965 from a market in Otavalo. It was a gift for his son who was fascinated by bird feathers. The apron, known as a shuar kuit, is decorated with Job’s tears beads (made from the grains of the plant Coix lacryma-jobi), toucan and mealey parrot feathers.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Religion and magic
Collection Area Region
bark clothpigmenttoucan feathersparrot feathersJob’s tears
Common Name
shuar kuit
Simple Name
Production County
South Ecuador
Production Country

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initiation apron