What number of turkey feathers does it take to make an historic blanket? 11,500

A fluffy gray blanket next to a coil of cord.

Enlarge / A phase of fiber twine that has been wrapped with turkey feathers, together with a single downy feather. (credit score: Washington State College)

Indigenous Pueblo populations within the American Southwest—ancestors of at this time’s Hopi, Zuni, and Rio Grande Pueblo tribes—usually wove blankets, cloaks, and funeral wrappings out of animal hides, furs, and turkey feathers. Anthropologists at Washington State College (WSU) have examined one such historic turkey-feather blanket and decided it took hundreds of these feathers, wrapped round almost 200 yards to yucca fiber, to make, based on a brand new paper revealed within the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reviews.

“Blankets or robes made with turkey feathers because the insulating medium have been extensively utilized by Ancestral Pueblo individuals in what’s now the Upland Southwest, however little is thought about how they have been made as a result of so few such textiles have survived as a consequence of their perishable nature,” mentioned co-author Invoice Lipe, emeritus professor of anthropology at WSU. “The purpose of this research was to shed new mild on the manufacturing of turkey feather blankets and discover the financial and cultural facets of elevating turkeys to provide the feathers.”

For his or her research, Lipe and his WSU colleague and co-author, Shannon Tushingham, studied a blanket framework on show on the Fringe of the Cedars State Park Museum in Blanding, Utah. Though bugs had devoured the unique feather vanes and barbs, the shafts have been nonetheless seen, wrapped round yucca fiber cords. They have been additionally in a position to have a look at a second, smaller blanket which nonetheless had most of its feathers intact. Each blankets roughly date to the early 1200s CE.

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