Encyclopedia Article


A decorative or ceremonial head covering that can be made of leather, wood, cloth, and other materials including gold. Headdresses are often decorated by feathers, beading, and sometimes jewels. Headdresses are found in many cultures in many regions throughout the world and include bridal veils, the Pope's hat, crowns, and warbonnets. In some cases, headdresses are a sign of power, potency, and virility; in others, they are a sign of modesty, decorum, and maturity.

Photo Credit: 

"Governor Agapito Naranjo with cane and Geronimo Tafoya in headdress, Santa Clara Pueblo," photograph, T. Harmon Parkhurst Photo Collection (003768). Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, New Mexico History Museum. Santa Fe.

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