Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/60

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50
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

courage art. Such delicate and perishable ornaments need especial protection from dust and injury. Receptacles of some sort must be provided, and usually such would themselves be decorated. In buying war feathers from the Sacs and Foxes, we found them kept in neatly made wooden boxes with slide covers. These boxes were usually carved and painted. The New Zealander for his choicest feathers made, with an infinity of toil and pains, elegant carved boxes of hard green jade.

Pendants have been used from an early date and are much prized by barbarous people. Akin to them are all sorts of breastplates, brooches, etc. Wood describes the dibbi-dihhi of the Australian. This is ordinarily fan-shaped and made of shell. It is also, however, at times crescentic and nearly as large as a cheese-plate. They are ornamented with drilled and engraved designs. Very much like them are the shell gorgets that have been found in the mounds of Tennessee, Georgia, and Missouri.

PSM V40 D060 Nose ornament.jpg
Fig. 7. — Nose Ornament. New Guinea.

They are among the finest specimens of art from the mounds. From two to five or six inches in diameter, these are disks, neatly carved from shell. The upper surface is concave and usually bears a carved design, often conventional but always well done —  a spider, a rattlesnake, combinations of circles, spirals, and dots, a human figure, etc. While speaking of ornaments of this shape and size we may refer to the sakahon of the Sacs and Foxes. These are still made by the native jewelers from German silver. Those worn by men are pendent; those for women have a pin for attachment, forming what is called a fibula. These sakahon are ingeniously made and are worn in great numbers — one little girl's dance-waist bore two hundred of them. They are usually about an inch and a half in size. Among our Iowa Indians these pinning sakahon are only used by women, but Mrs. Harriet Maxwell Converse has a great number of very small ones, of silver, not more than a half-inch in diameter, which were formerly worn by the famous Iroquois orator Red Jacket. Beads are highly prized. The earliest were made of shell or stone, and later these were