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early 1900s
Overall: 10.8 x 16.8 cm (4 1/4 x 6 5/8 in.)
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Titled Kuba men and prominent women wear the laket, a small ornate dome-shaped hat. An essential fashion item of adult men in good social standing, it focuses special attention on the head as a significant marker of individual identity, ethnic affiliation, status, and role in society. This prestige object is secured on the crown of the head with a nine-and-a-half-inch metal pin that pierces through the hat onto a clump of hair. The laket is made from undyed raffia palm fiber that was then coiled into threads and woven. There are two examples of the laket: the plain type with the flat top, and the more elaborate type called the laket mishiing.


early 1900s

Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kuba-style maker

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