The sumptuous Bamileke headdresses in African art. Prestigious African headdress, worn by notables, this example offers a trim of fuschia feathers.
It is on the occasion of the elephant dance, tso ,that the members of the Kuosi , Kwosi , society wore these impressive headdresses. They were worn over a multicolored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng ,a cloth fabric, ndop , decorated with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances were performed during festive ceremonies and funerals. The hats were once made from parrot feathers, now from wild guinea fowl, whose scarcity meant high cost. The feathers are attached to wooden strips covered with fabric, placed around a circular frame consolidated by a basket of wicker fiber. A society originally composed of valiant warriors ,the Kosi evolved into an association of wealthy notables acting on behalf of royalty to regulate social order.
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