We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

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Look at this feathered headdress.

Highlanders like to decorate themselves as works of art – they paint patterns on their faces and use careful selections of feathers, shells and leaves to make body decorations. This art form is called bilas.

Look at the detail on this headdress. How many different types of bird feathers can you see?

Look at other examples of body decoration.

Design your own special headdress on this shape below using ideas from the ones in the exhibition. Hint: if you’d like to print the image only, right-click on it and select save, then print it.

Outline of head for designing headdress