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Raffia, metal, and dye
Pin: 17.8 cm (7 in.); Width at bottom: 12.1 x 12.7 cm (4 3/4 x 5 in.)
Educational Purchase Fund 1915.468
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 raffia palm fiber coiled into threads and woven in two alternating patterns and contrasting light and dark (dyed) wefts. There are two examples of the laket: the plain type with the flat top, and the more elaborate type called the laket mishiing.
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