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Kuba Hat Cowrie Shells Congo African Art

Product #: 115320
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Title Kuba Hat Cowrie Shells Congo African Art
Type of Object Ceremonial Hat
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Kuba
Materials Basket, vegetal fiber, cowrie shell
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 5 Inches
Width: 5 Inches
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Dirt, stained shells, wear

Additional Information:  The frame of this cap is made of vegetal fibers using basketry techniques.  Among the Kuba,  such caps  are known under the generic name of laket.  They are worn by Kuba nobles (Mbeemy and Mbeengy) and princes as symbols of their high rank. Kuba hats such as this were worn as a part of daily attire and also as ceremonial hats. They were also part of their regalia and play the role of emblem of the status and social rank. They also intend to demonstrate royal health and power.


For similar piece see Cornet, Joseph, ART ROYAL KUBA, fig. 261, p. 216. See also  Cornet's ART ROYAL KUBA, Mack's EMIL TORDAY AND THE ART OF THE CONGO 1900-1909.; Patricia Darish and David Binkley, " Headdresses and titleholder Among the Kuba", pp. 159-169 in CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS (Arnoldi & Kreamer eds.)