Huia

Category : birds

From New Zealand. The Maori prized their feathers and wore them in battle. They made jewelry, amulets and carved boxes especially to hold Huia feathers. They gave them to each other as tokens of friendship and of respect, and used them in funeral rites. At first only powerful chiefs were allowed to wear their feathers, but soon after the Europeans arrived that went by the wayside, and anyone who could get their hands on them started collecting and wearing them. The Europeans themselves were happy to have stuffed Huias decorate their colonial drawing rooms, and many others were exported to museums and private curiosity cabinets back home.

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