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Fine Early Prestige Cap (Laket Mishiing)

Kuba, DRC. £850

Prestige Cap (Laket Mishiing). Kuba Culture, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Above the textural scallop-shaped edges of this fine early laket mishiing, the body of the cap has been decorated with beautiful circular designs produced by contrasting natural and darker-coloured woven raffia fibre - a design which culminates in a small red circle at the very top of the hat. Such a design makes this particular laket a very rare example.

In Kuba society, adult men received small raffia hats called laket mishiing after completing an initiation process that marked their transformation into mature members of their community. These small caps, worn on the crown of the head, were finely woven from raffia fibre into a distinctive dome-like form, with four scallop-shaped edges. A Kuba man’s laket mishiing was a symbol of his cultural identity – and also a visual reflection of his status, changing in appearance as he progressed up the social ladder.

As the owner took on additional titles in society, his hat became more embellished. Therefore, more elaborate versions of the laket were reserved for high-ranking members of society, serving as signals of the owner’s upward mobility.

Estimated Period: 1930's.

Height (Excl. Custom Display Stand): 11cm

Width (Excl. Custom Display Stand): 17cm

Height (Incl. Custom Display Stand): 29cm

Width of Custom Display Stand: 10.5cm

(Click on images to enlarge)

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H (Excl. Display Stand): 11 CM
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