Friday mystery object #104 answer

On Friday I gave you this Anthropological object and asked what is it, where is it from and what is it made from:

As some of you spotted, this object is not made of hair, but of feathers that look like hair. This indicates that the feathers are from a flightless bird – and given their length it would be a big bird. That narrows it down to a ratite (also known as a Struthioniform).

There are large ratites in Africa (Ostriches), South America (Rheas), Australia (Emus and Cassowaries) and New Guinea (Cassowaries), so this object must come from one of these places.

Given the shape and size it seems fairly clear that the object is a headdress, so the easy way to identify what this object is made from (and therefore the area of the world from which it originated) is to do an image search for ‘*type of ratite* headdress’, after all, there are only 4 options. Sneaky but effective.

To save you the trouble I will tell you that it is in fact made from Cassowary feathers – probably Northern Cassowary Casuarius unappendiculatus (Blyth, 1860) and it’s from New Guinea, which David Craven successfully identified – well done!

Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) at Bali Bird Park by

Northern Cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) at Bali Bird Park by

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