A handcrafted armor vest from Cameroon, this masterpiece is made of crocodile skin. The vest inspired Pinto to explore the way material can be stitched together to take advantage of its patterns and textures.
Cowries, the shells of a marine snail, have been valued for thousands of years all over the world. This headdress from Togo combines the smooth beauty of these shells with the horns of an antelope for a fascinating contrast.
These “hot pants” may look like they’re from the 1970s, but they’re actually much older. Traditionally worn with tall boots by the Angmagssalik people of Greenland, they nearly disappeared when Danish missionaries arrived and thought them immodest.
Displayed at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, this ceremonial head ornament was created by an unknown Zaparo artist from the upper reaches of Peru’s Amazon River. The headdress is made of human hair, clamshells, toucan feathers, beetles’ wings, and monkeys’ teeth.
This sword and sheath were created by an Arab-influenced artisan in the Nile region of Sudan. The blade was forged in Europe and traded across the Sahara, while the spectacular sheath was created using the entire body of a crocodile.
This large battle shield, made by an Amharic artisan of Ethiopia, is constructed from the skin of a hippo. Designer Maria Pinto was attracted to the shield’s unusual material as she roamed The Field Museum’s vast Anthropology collections.
This dazzling headdress was designed and created by an unknown Caraja artist of Brazil. Made of twisted palm cord and the brilliantly hued feathers of Amazonian birds, this work embodies an aesthetic sense prevalent throughout the Amazon.
This Chinese theatrical headdress is created with pearls, blue kingfisher feathers, pompons, and other luxurious materials. Its rich colors and textures inspired Pinto to create an entirely new ensemble of women’s wear, exclusively displayed at The Museum’s newest exhibition, Fashion and The Field Museum Collection: Maria Pinto.