The flared shape of these Zulu women’s hat, dyed with red ochre, reflect the original design of the hairstyle on which they are based. Originally a mother would sew her daughter’s hair into this complex design for the initial stage in the series of ceremonies associated with her daughter’s marriage. The hats are a relatively new aspect of Zulu traditional dress that were developed in the late 19th or early 20th century and are based on the cone-shaped hairstyle that indicated the wearer’s maturity and marital status. Marriage and its affirmation of maturity is one of five key rites of passage in the life of a Zulu woman alongside: birth, naming, death/burial and ukubuyisa, “bringing home of the spirit”.
Size: 21″ diameter