Hat with nut shells (mukuba)

CULTURE:
Lega peoples
DATE:
20th century
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General Description

Hats and small headdresses reveal a member's rank within the Bwami society. The conical shaped hat decorated with shells and a beaded elephant tail projecting from its top is called mukuba. It signifies membership at the highest level of the kindi grade. Kindi members identify with elephants, which although nonviolent (a Bwami principle of perfection), can be destructive if disturbed.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 78.