This item from our collections perhaps seems unfamiliar at first, but if you take a closer look you might recognize a familiar object. It’s a shuttlecock! Shuttlecocks, also referred to as “birdies”, are what get batted back and forth during a game of badminton. This shuttlecock has a head made of wound fibers, which serves as a weight, and a tail of feathers. The feathers, traditionally taken from only one wing of a bird, help keep the shuttlecock aerodynamic. These days we tend to use commercially manufactured plastic and rubber shuttlecocks. This object was donated by Edward Nelson, accessioned on Feb 9th, 1882, and collected near the Lower Yukon River.
Arctic Studies Center Magnetic North Home YouTube Facebook Search Smithsonian Collections NMNH Department of Anthropology Blogs at NMNH Subscribe