The headdress is a very powerful piece of African tradition for many reasons throughout different tribes. A headdress may be worn in the coming together of 2 people for a marriage, a ceremony for a good harvest, an inauguration of a new Chief or King, sacred rituals, divination’s, and funerals and many more reasons.
The materials, styles and uses differ from tribe to tribe, from a beaded skull cap type hat to huge elaborate cane framed headdress adorned with feathers and the likes of animal horns and teeth.
Within some African tribes it is only the hierarchy who are permitted to wear certain headdresses as they represent power and wealth.
Strikingly impressive Igala Horned Helmet, with its smooth curvaceous animal horns fixed on either side of a gourd, decorated with a painted on pattern/design, carved out to fit the top of the head, adorned with cowrie shells that run around both the rim and
The role of the zazaigo masquerade is to communicate with the spirits of ancestors to let them know that the deceased community member was an honourable man and should be allowed to pass through to the realm of the spirits.
A very rare Bidjogo initiators cradle headdress, this headdress would be worn by the person conducting the initiation of young boys into manhood called "fanando", which the boys under initiation would wear a very heavy and large helmet mask in the form of a bull called Essenie.
This comes from our own private collection bought from a German collector; it is absolutely adorable and very rare.
This was field collected by us along with the matching belt from Mushenge.
This beautiful Kuba hat Kalyeem headdress was collected by us from an elder of a village in the Mushenge region of the Kuba Kingdom. Materials used to create this are: Raffia, cowrie shells, glass beads and brass.
Bambara Tji Wara Headdress This is a beautiful example of a traditional style male Bambara Tji Wara / Chi Wara headdress. It was collected in Mali in 1971 by a German collector, It has very good wear patina especially where it would have been held on to the head and on the horns where it would be picked up.