Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kuba, possibly early 20th century
raffia, glass beads, cowrie shells, cloth, Overall: 29.00 x 23.00 x 23.00 cm (11 3/8 x 9 x 9 inches). John L. Severance Fund 1998.29
Hats are important visual indicators of Kuba ideas about rank and leadership. The basic form of most Kuba hats is a domed cap that is made of raffia fiber following a basketry technique called coiling. The tall, conical kalyeem hat is the privilege of senior titleholders. The most elaborate hats are used to dress the deceased at the funeral display and are later buried with the body.