Horsehair hat band

Cultural Narrative: 

A hat band is usually make of some kind of fabric, leather, or ribbon and is worn as part of a hat, surrounding the hat just about the brim. This specific hat band is made from black/dark brown horsehair and has three silver pieces attached, including one holding the hat band together. There is a decorative pattern woven on the outside of the hat band with either pink and tan yarn or dyed horsehair. There are also two tassels of horsehair attached to the hat band. In terms of size, this hat band is 26 cm in diameter and 2.2 cm in height. This item is representative of crafts L. V. McWhorter may have arranged for his Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) friends to sell in the tourist trade. Economic conditions on reservations were harsh and income was sorely needed. The adaptation of traditional materials to produce crafts that would appeal to western tastes was a creative and resourceful method of income generation. Due to the time period L.V. McWhorter was living in the state of Washington, this hat band was likely created in the early 1900s. This horsehair hat band is the item in the top of the photograph and is categorized as 1986.2.15. The other item below the horsehair hat band is either a horsehair neckpiece/collar or watch chain and is cataloged as 1986.2.16.