Kuba Handwoven Prestige Hat Congo
The frame of this cap is made of vegetal fibers using basketry techniques. Among the Kuba, such caps are known under the generic name of laket. They are worn by Kuba nobles (Mbeemy and Mbeengy) and princes as symbols of their high rank. Kuba hats such as this were worn as a part of daily attire and also as ceremonial hats. They were also part of their regalia and played the role of the emblem of status and social rank. They also intend to demonstrate royal health and power.
In Zaire, there is importance, prestige, and competition to being a titleholder. In Kuba culture hats are a visual manifestation of Kuba's ideas about ethnicity and leadership. The laket is worn as a symbol of cultural identity and status in the community among the Kuba people. The laket is a small circular woven hat with scalloped edges that is given to those who have achieved adulthood. The laket is then used as the foundation for more elaborate hats to come.
Stand not included.
Approximate Age: 20th Century