The creative re-shaping of the head, through the use of hats, caps, crowns, hairpins, ear and lip adornments, aesthetically elaborate the head and increase its symbolic potency. Across the African continent, adornments intimately associated with the head are invested with heightened value.
In many traditional societies, head and hair adornments are fashion statements in the most literal sense of the word. Serving as visual shorthand for personal identity, headwear speaks volumes about an individual’s sense of self, engagement in social roles, title, status and relationships to others within the wider community.
These items are unique visual archives of African history; archives that continue to actively fashion the future.
To discover our current collection of head adornments, visit the 'Adornment/Hats/Baskets & Fiber' section of this website.