Copyright Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA

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Prisoner Halter

This Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) prisoner halter was found after the 1746 Bars Fight in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The Bars section of Deerfield was attacked during King George's War on August 25, 1746 by a group of French and Kanienkehaka from Kahnawake, Canada. If used as a prisoner halter, it would have been tied around the prisoner's neck with a person holding each end to keep the prisoner in line. The woven pattern on the strap depicts groups of figures that might suggest Native alliances. The collar is edged with white glass beads. Similar straps were used as tumplines or "burden straps" and as belts. Indian women used tumplines to help carry loads suspended on the back.

Date: circa 1746 
Topic: Personal 
Materials: Vegetable fiber, moosehair, glass beads
Dimensions: L: 11 in. (27.9 cm), W: 1.10 in. (2.8 cm) 
Accession #: IR.A.26

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