Lega Bwami Hat

Democratic Republic of the Congo

buttons, fibre, elephant hair and cowrie shells

height 30 cm
The Estate of Ray Hughes
The Bwami is an adult association that serves as political, social, economic, and religious authority of the Lega society. Hats symbolise the owner's rank within the Bwami. This hat would have been worn by initiates to Kindi, the highest level of Bwami An elephant's tail symbolizes the animal's great strength. Cowrie shells, which were used as a form of currency, signify wealth. Buttons began to replace cowrie shells as the Western presence grew in eastern Congo in the 1940s
  • EStimate $700 - $900
  • sold $1,020 Incl BP
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.