Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Scalping Jacket

In John Ford's classic western THE SEARCHERS Natalie Wood portrays a captive white girl who shows a scalp staff to her Uncle Ethan. Debbie's half-brother wants to kill Scar, the Chief on the spot, but the Texas Ranger played by John Wayne stays his hand and promises to kill her husband the next time they meet. Ethan achieves his revenge and almost kills Debbie, but remembers her as a little girl and not as a savage squaw in a teepee of the Comanche.

While scalping had long been practiced by Native Americans, white colonists excelled at taking scalps from the agricultural tribes of New England. Bounty of $60 was paid by the government and no one questioned the source of the forelocks. Woman and children's scalps were worth $20. Indians fled to the west from the ethnic cleansing of the interlopers.

Scalping has fallen on tough times in the 21st Century, but that didn't stop a young friend from constructing a coat out of human hair.

I found it more than a little creepy, but Tyler Sewell isn't scared of creepiness.

The handsome Canadian still has his forelock and his scalp must be worth at least $100 to the right customer.

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