African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Kuba headdress

Kuba headdress (N° 16510)

This type of head ornament is worn on certain occasions by Kuba notables to highlight their wealth and prestige. Particularly careful workmanship characterizes this headdress.
A braided skullcap made of natural fibers is stretched over the textile, which is entirely filled with cowrie shells, applied harmoniously, creating a dense and regular network ending in a bouquet at the top. These shells, a barter currency originally imported from the Indian Ocean by Hausa merchants, are a symbol of fertility and abundance.
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the higher ranks of their society. Indeed, several Kuba groups produced anthropomorphic objects with refined designs including cups, drinking horns and beakers. The Lele are established in the west of the Kuba kingdom, at the confluence of the Kasai and Bashilele rivers. Cross-cultural exchanges between the Bushoong of the Kuba territory and the Lele have made the attribution of some objects tricky, as both groups use the same iconography, consisting of faces with elaborate headdresses and geometric decorative patterns. 
Source: "Initiates". Ed. Musée Dapper ; "Animal" Musée Dapper.  

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Originex-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)plant fibre, textile, cauris
Height cm15
Width15 cm
Weight0.20 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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