The object is part of Museums of Old York’s Exhibit, “The Country Heer is Plentiful: Trade, Religion and Warfare in York and Southern Maine.”
Although brass kettles were far more durable than the clay pots they replaced, damaged kettles were often reworked into other items like arrowheads, beads and gorgets. The gorget was worn by the Wabanaki close to the neck, originally serving as neck armor but later developing into an indication of wealth, sort of like today’s bling. This gorget is in the form of a thunderbird which was considered to be a powerful symbol.
Reproduction Thunderbird Gorget made from a period English Kettle (L.2010.18)
Loan of Mr. Kenneth Hamilton