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[Tidbits] Quetzal--Oropendula--Troupial

To know or not to know. that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in
the mind to flock with birds of a feather or to wear a diamond
studded tiara is the conundrum of the day. And if a diamond studded
tiara is jewelry then is not also true that a fancy feathered
headdress is also jewelry? Is a feather worth less than a diamond in
the minds of those who cull feathers and have never seen a diamond?
Bah, I say. A feather is worth more … for it is taken from a living
creature whereas a diamond is nothing more than a bit of volcanic
vomit belched up from some ancient hill that had access to our
earth’s bowels many eons past.

Feathers. back in them thar days were also used. among other things.
as loincloths. But the truth of it is that a woman of that day would
be hard put to say here. a loincloth for you my good man. to cover
your privates and to show the world your newest and most precious
bejeweled acquisition. His response–of course–would be: Thank you.
but I think I’ll wear my loincloth on my head. My jewels are for the
world to see. I can’t be sure. but I tend to believe this was the
interchange that gave birth to the feathered headdress and ultimately
to the tiara. Evolution takes strange paths.

As to the Quetzal and the Oropendula and the Troupial… these were
the tropical birds who were unfortunate enough to be blessed with
beauty and were therefore quite often plucked and made into
headdresses in order to enhance the personage of the reigning
priests. It is from this that the old ditty derived. He stuck a
feather in his cap and called it Quetzal-roni. The language has
clearly changed over the years. Today it’s Macaw-roni. A bird by any
other name…

The headdress you are all about to see–no rushing now–there’s
plenty of time to finish this article. the boidie’s feathers will
wait. it is rumored that the headdress you are all about to see was
presented by Moctezuma (Montezuma for some of you) to Cortez. In
return Cortez gave Moctezuma a strand of glass beads. And then.
alas… Moctezuma invited Cotez to the Aztec capital. and the rest is
history. It would appear that in some extremely rare instances in the
course of human events… . humans have tended to be a tad deceptive.
traitorous… and even not too nice. Can you believe such a thing?
Actually. … the species is overly laden with lying mongrels. Except
for me and thee of course. And since I’m not all that sure about thee
… that would leave only me. But let’s not be picayune about this.
Why split feathers?

The headdress is a stunning piece of workmanship. equal to any
diamond studded tiara. and in that sense it is jewelry of the highest
caliber. As in all form of jewelry making. there were good
feather-workers and there were bad feather-workers. The bad ones were
fraudulent. they were embellishers… treaters of feathers with glue.
scoundrels of the first order who sold old and worn and damaged
feathers (think CZ’s instead of diamonds)… dyed feathers and faded
and dirtry feathers. But the good ones. they were called “Amanteca”.
Word has come down the pipeline that it was an Amanteca who created
the headdress you are all about to see.

But wait wait. What good is it to see a stunningly gorgeous feathered
quetzal headdress if you can’t see what the quetzal itself looks
like. So. I put in two quetzal images. A close-up so’s you kin see
it’s pretty face. And a telescopic view so you can see the whole
image. It is mostly from the tail of the bird that these headdresses
are made. And since there are only two of these long flowing thangs.
you can imagine how many quetzals had to give up their last breath in
order to make the priests happy. Ah yes. well… so it goes. It’s now
that time.

You know where. You know what. The visit to the image… also known
as the viewing experience. You know how to get there. Home page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click.
And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see an Aztec
Quetzal hairddress of incredible beauty.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark


Amazing ! Where does this stunning head piece currently reside? How
are the feathers in the photo able to keep the gorgeous colors after
leaving the bird?

Another amazing piece of pen to paper. Thank you, Benjamin.