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Ekonda Layered Woven Hat Botolo RARE African Art

Product #: 126591
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Title Ekonda Layered Woven Hat Botolo RARE African Art
Type of Object Woven hat
Country of Origin DR Congo
People Ekonda, Sengele or Sakata
Materials vegetal fibers, metal
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 14 Inches
Width: 8.5 Inches
Depth: 5 Inches
Overall Condition Fair to Good. 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 Tiers are bent and edges are fraying.

Additional Information: 

This interesting hat is a very rare handwoven hat in a layered conical form. Tiered hat woven from vegetal fibers worn by Ekonda chiefs. One copper disk attached to the hat.  Such wickerwork hats come from a number of contiguous groups living in the Congo Basin region, especially among the Ekonda, Ntumba, Bolia, Sengele and Sakata. Such wicker hats were known as Botolo, and copper discs as Losanja.   Copper alloy objects are often identified with social status or rank and this headpiece object was most probably in the possession of the local leader (Nkumu) and of important members of the men societies.  They were worn by leaders,  initiates and by diviners as part of ornaments and also as symbols of status.  It has one copper disc and has geometric patterns painted in white and red. Otherwise the overall condition is stable.


A wickerwork example of a Botolo hat is published in Daniel P. Biebuyck and Nelly Van Den Abbeele , The Power Of Headdresses, Brussels, 1984, plate 44. See also a photo of a Nkumu wearing a Botolo hat (plate 44 bis)


The same hat and photo are also published  Mary Jo Arnoldi and Christine Mullen Kreamer (ed.) Crowning Achievements. African Arts of Dressing the Head, 1995, figs. 2.17-2.18