The Turkey Feather Cape

My Creation From Beyond History

Non-Fiction - Historical
130 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Turkey Feather Cape: My Creation From Beyond History is a work of non-fiction in the historical writing, culture, and biographical writing subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Robert Perry, this engaging cultural adventure delves into Chickasaw history, specifically the lost knowledge about a turkey feather cape predating 1541 AD. Perry, a tribal elder, takes on the challenge of recreating this historical artifact and documents the process for future generations. The narrative spans from the pre-written history era of the Chickasaw Nation to the construction of the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, in 2010. The book relates history and also serves as a guide for undertaking complex projects, offering insights into overcoming challenges.

Author Robert Perry takes his readers on a journey through time and culture with this fascinating read that is deeply personal and heartwarming to explore. Perry's dedication to preserving and sharing Chickasaw history is evident, and his storytelling makes the complex subject matter accessible. I got the sense that I was receiving special knowledge from a learned friend, so warm was the narrative quality and the lovingly detailed account of how the cape is recreated part by part. But Perry's work is not just about recreating the object in question; it’s also an exploration of his personal connection to Chickasaw culture and the value of maintaining and celebrating our heritage. The emphasis on passing down knowledge and cultural practices gives the work a strong sense of purpose, which is only enhanced by the well-organized writing and the logical buildup of ideas. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Turkey Feather Cape: My Creation From Beyond History to history and culture enthusiasts everywhere as a valuable and heartfelt read.

Cecelia Hopkins

The Turkey Feather Cape by Robert Perry surveys Chickasaw history by combining archaeology, records of the explorer Hernando De Soto, and various accounts of British and French traders. Due to the history of conflict and exploitation, much information has been lost, but the Turkey Cape had a special significance. A visit to the Cherokee Museum gives insight into traditional cape construction and suitable materials. The next chapters elaborate on the finer points of feather attachment and design. Perry recommends setting up a work area, cutting a pattern, and treating and sorting feathers. He recommends establishing “reference lines” for fastening rows and gives a detailed description of the mantle. A visionary discussion follows as the creative experience inspires a connection with Chickasaw ancestors. A series of clear and helpful step-by-step photographs follow the text. Then notes, materials, and tool lists are complemented by a glossary of terms.

The Turkey Feather Cape by Robert Perry is a craft manual that combines instruction with fascinating cultural explanations. I enjoyed the way the author created word pictures and evoked what he understood of the Chickasaw heritage. I felt a strong sense of regret so much of the Chickasaw lifestyle had been lost and so many people killed, but then I was truly uplifted by his call to his people to reclaim their power through creativity. I was also encouraged by his invitation to creative and interested people of all backgrounds to partake in the activity. I found the overall tone positive and inclusive, earning my utmost respect for the project. The Turkey Feather Cape by Robert Perry contains invaluable social wisdom imparted in a friendly manner.

Doreen Chombu

The ancient Chickasaw people had a peaceful and established culture, customs, and beliefs before meeting the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto and giving up their land to the white settlers. They were skilled in crafts that symbolized their beliefs, including feather capes. Unfortunately, most of their artifacts have been lost over time. However, archeological researchers have worked hard to uncover knowledge about the Chickasaw of the Southeast, also known as the Mississippians. Feather capes are a particularly fragile artifact, and not many of them remain. In his book The Turkey Feather Cape, Robert Perry explores his Chickasaw culture and history and revives the lost art of making feather capes. He shares his process of blending modern and ancient techniques to create these beautiful artifacts.

The Turkey Feather Cape celebrates an art form that has been lost over time and brings it back to life. Robert Perry does an excellent job of explaining what the cape symbolized and how the death of Chief Tascaluca, a man known to have worn the feather cape, led to a significant change in Chickasaw culture. The book covers everything from choosing the right fabric to attaching the feathers, to how many feathers one may need. Each detail is thoroughly discussed. The author has also included a creative thinking course that provides tips on gaining ideas, selecting the best ones, and learning from nature. The book is accompanied by clear images and illustrations that highlight each stage of the process, making it a well-constructed manual that readers can follow if they decide to make a feather cape of their own. The feather cape is just one part of Chickasaw culture. Their profound teachings and values still live on in their people. For this reason, I recommend reading this book to get a glimpse into their heritage and appreciate their history and craftsmanship.

Foluso Falaye

In The Turkey Feather Cape: My Creation From Beyond History, Robert Perry gives a detailed account of how he made a turkey feather cape and shares what he learned from researching its history. The historical stories take us to 1540 AD when the Chickasaws encountered the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto and the rough path he took to avoid mutiny after the Mauvila battle. A Mississippi tribal leader from the 16th century, Chief Tascaluca, is thought to have worn a feather cape and is portrayed as a highly respected leader. Perry's exploration of history emphasizes the loss of cultural understanding regarding the sacred objects in Native American culture. Instead of the easy method of making a feather cape, he chooses a more thoughtful method that gives due honor to the bird of courage, the turkey.

Robert Perry not only shares a vivid description of the physical aspects of creating the cape but also reveals his thoughts and the questions that came up during the process. Readers don't have to start as complete novices since they follow the author's journey to solving key questions like, "How do I attach the feathers? What other ways can be used?" The Turkey Feather Cape contains measurements, pictures, and equipment details that further enhance the reader's understanding of the steps he took in creating the feather cape. Furthermore, Perry's concise and educational historical insights bring the reader's attention to the importance of deeply understanding a culture before representing it. In essence, the book is an epic combination of history, art, and culture. Revitalize your creativity and passion for taking on tough projects with this awe-inspiring book. I can't wait to go offline and craft something challenging myself.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Robert Perry's journey began as a guide on how to make a turkey feather cape, but it quickly turned into a deep dive into his Chickasaw heritage. In his book, The Turkey Feather Cape: My Creation From Beyond History, Robert narrates the history of the Chickasaw people, outlining their religious practices, cultural beliefs, and archeological findings in Mississippi related to the original owner of the feather cape. The author also discusses the significance of a turkey feather cape for the people at that time, and what modern-day Chickasaw people can learn from their ancestors. He provides a creative thinking journey, showcasing the mental process of making the cape. Finally, he lists the materials needed to make the cape and provides step-by-step instructions on how to make it, accompanied by illustrations and pictures.

The Turkey Feather Cape is a detailed book that takes readers on a journey through history and educates them on a lost art that shaped a community but has been forgotten by many. Robert Perry takes pride in his heritage and showcases his passion through his captivating narration, thorough research, and vivid descriptions that transport readers and allow them to appreciate long-lost artifacts. The book is informative and shares the cape's cultural, religious, and societal role. I enjoyed the design section of this book because the instructions are clear, well-written, and organized, making it easy for readers to follow along and understand. The inclusion of images also helps to clarify any confusing steps. Overall, I found the book to be enlightening and engaging. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about Chickasaw culture and exploring the forgotten art form of making a turkey feather cape.