Thompson River Hat
spruce root, aniline dyes
5.5 x 15 (diameter)
Illinois State Museum Condell Collection
In the Thompson River tribe's open wide-brimmed hat, meditations upon need and function combine with ingenuity to create an object of subtle beauty. The shallow, bowl-shaped hat has an interior rim that adjusts to the wearer's headsize. Not content with the innovative quality of this efficient design, the maker embellished it with a series of concentric circles. These vary in color and contrast with a delicate, checkerboard band that appears three times and lends a dynamic sense of unity to the overall design.