06 November 2008

A birdie followed me home

Actually several birdies...



I found this amazing beaded head-dress tucked in the far back corner of a little booth at Quilt Festival in Houston. It was hand made in Nigeria of thousands (tens of thousands?) of white glass beads over wire framework and stands about 24" tall. I saw it the second day of the show, looked at it closely, asked about it's price and reluctantly walked away, knowing it would be difficult to get home.



But I couldn't stop thinking about it. There was a second one, slightly smaller and in full color, but this one just spoke to me. It's covered with beaded birds and has a face on either side.



Just before the opening of the last day of the show I went to check to see if it was gone or if it was waiting for me.



I decided that if it was still there, then it was meant to come home with me.



Of course, I did get stopped at security in the airport - I can't imagine what it looked like on the x-ray machine. And I ended up with two laptops in my briefcase so I could fit the birds in my carry-on, you should see the blisters on my hands.

It was worth it.

18 comments:

Kristin L said...

You didn't just wear it home? It is awesome and compliments the steam punk birds as well.

my croft said...

this is why god gave us FedEx.
way cool. (see? white is a color. . .)

Natalya said...

I knew you wouldn't leave without it! I meant to ask last night, but forgot. It's beautiful congratulations...

Carol Dean said...

Absolutely fantastic find! Congratulations :D

Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

Wouldn't you love to know it's story or myth or whatever inspired the artist? It is truly wonderful and unique.

:Diane said...

I can't wait to see photos of the niche you have to carve out in order to have the perfect place to display it.

Deb said...

It's wonderful!

I bought a large sea grass basket at Convergence in Tampa and called it my "carry on" for the flight home. Empty, I was just barely able to get it into the overhead.

norma said...

Jane, it is terrific! does it play well with your other birds?

Karoda said...

this is a gorgeous gorgeous piece...i've seen some in assorted primary colours but this beauty is in ints shape, design, and form...lucky you! do you happen to have info on the artist and/or its purpose?

laura west kong said...

that is a wonderful find!

Renee said...

Oh Jane, what a perfect compliment to your bird collection! Now you need to start some research to see it's maker & story... like are their smaller ones out there... can you make a total collection of bird headdresses... hmph, what a thought!

Hugs, Renee

j.dávila said...

UPDATE:
After some research I've discovered that it's a headdress of the type worn by kings of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Mine is a modern version and not an antique (which the price would have told me anyway).

The symbolism of the birds represents the mystical powers of women as mothers and as witches.

Cool.

margaret said...

Antique or not, it's a wonderful thing - and it's good to know that traditional crafts are being carried on.

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

What an amazing piece of art! Glad you decided to listen when it called your name.

Margeeth said...

Wow, what an amazing hat. I wonder how heavy it is, with all those beads, I guess it is really heavy when you have it on your had.

Plain Jane said...

I too have seen pieces like this and coveted them, but they were too expensive for me. I am waay jealous of your bird collection!! Well, no, not jealous, I admire and love your bird collection. congrats on your latest. Can't wait to see how you display it in your beautiful home.

Vivien said...

This is way cool!

Sandy said...

OHMIGAWD- I have lusted after one of these headdresses for years! Usually they are multi-colored, but I did see an all white one in a catalog a few years back. Couldn't get it then, have missed it ever since! Congratulations on the find- if it's missing some day it's because I am practicing my burglary techniques (but I won't be armed!). Love it, can't imagine it to have a better home. But if someday you run out of space gimme a call...