Sumptuous Bamileke headdresses in African art. Prestigious African adornment, worn by notables, this example is trimmed with dark red feathers.
It was during the elephant dance, tso, that members of the Kuosi, Kwosi society, wore these impressive headdresses. They were worn over a multi-colored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng, of cloth, ndop , decorated with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances were performed during festive ceremonies and funerals. Hats were once made with parrot feathers, today from wild guinea fowl, the rarity of which resulted in a high cost. The feathers are attached to wooden strips covered with fabric, placed around a circular frame consolidated by a basket of wicker fibres. A society originally made up of valiant warriors, the Kosi evolved into an association of wealthy notables acting on behalf of royalty to regulate social order.
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