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Bwami Hat for Ngandu or Yananio Level

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
The small pangolin (a mammal with a scaly hide that protects itself by coiling into a ball) is worn by the members of Bwami’s Ngandu and Yananio grades. When associated with hats, the pangolin symbolizes piety and respect.
CULTURE Lega
MEDIUM Plant fiber, mollusk shells, cowrie shells, buttons, pangolin scales, and pangolin tail
DATES late 19th or early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 24 x 8 in. (61.0 x 20.3 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 2011.3.2
CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Lega. Bwami Hat for Ngandu or Yananio Level , late 19th or early 20th century. Plant fiber, mollusk shells, cowrie shells, buttons, pangolin scales, and pangolin tail , 24 x 8 in. (61.0 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 2011.3.2. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE back, 2011.3.2_back_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Hat consisting of crossed plant stems that are woven together with plant material (possibly grasses or leaves). The inner structure has the stems placed in a diagonal swirling pattern while the outer structure is horizontal. This double layer makes for a solid cone form on to which is attached scales and the entire tail from a pangolin. The pangolin tail and scales appear to have been sewn on to the hat through round holes. Additionally attached to the substructure of the hat are two mussel or oyster shells and plastic buttons (white, red and blue). The strap is made from braided vegetable fiber decorated with buttons and conch shells. All the elements are sewn on with vegetable fiber. The shells and buttons are caked with a deep brown, black resinous material. Condition: good.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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Bwami Hat for Ngandu or Yananio Level