Together, these three Kuba prestige caps display a creative re-working of raffia fibre.
Made by a male specialist hat maker, such hats would have been worn on the crown of the head of a Kuba man, designating his adult status. The two conical shaped caps show the versatility of the coiling technique -while one cap incorporates downward-facing triangular-shaped designs on each of its scallop-shaped 'ears', the other has a raised, crocheted surface with trims of greenish-blue decorative stitching on its lower edge of its lobes.
Displayed together, the two ‘laket’s’ show a masterful interplay of negative and positive space - seen, for instance, in the spaced stitching of the coloured and natural fibre on the caps' edges, and the contrasting patterns created by raised triangular shapes. Pierced through one of the ‘laket’ caps is a long metal pin, made from a bicycle spoke, which would have been used to secure the prestige hat onto the crown of the wearer's head.
The largest of this group of prestige caps features a beautiful open-woven spiral design at the summit. Decorative bands of darker-coloured raffia fibre, which run around the perimeter, echo the circular form of the hat.
Estimated Period: 1930's
Ex Emmanuel Ameloot, Belgium
Sold as a collection of three, not separately
Height of Laket Cap With Pin (Incl. Display Stand): 29.5cm
Height of Laket Cap with Textured Surface (Incl. Display Stand): 30cm
Height of Circular Cap: 7cm
(Click on images to enlarge)