Headdress

Headdress

1900s

African gray parrot feathers, wood, plant fiber, probably cotton, string, and colorant

Diameter: 90 cm (35 7/16 in.)

Sundry Purchase Fund 2007.181

Location

Did you know?

This headdress has an ingenious built-in storage system: it can be flipped inside out to encase the feathers within a rigid woven structure, protecting them during storage or travel.

Description

Hundreds of red tail feathers from the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) decorate this disk-shaped headdress. Only the king, some high-ranking individuals, and members of the all-male elephant society—known in different languages as Kuosi, Nekang, or Kem-ndze—wore this prestigious headgear at ceremonies and funerals. Typically, the headdress was worn pushed slightly back from the hairline. When used by members of the elephant society, it was accompanied by a cloth and glass bead mask (mbap mteng) in the shape of that animal, such as 1985.1082.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.