This is a traditional Lega hat, the frame is made of vegetal material with a chin strap of the same material, the surface is covered with dried seeds. A hornbill beak is placed on the top of the hat Read the story..
The Lega live in the rain forests of the eastern Congo region. They comprise numerous subgroups that are collectively linked through Bwami, an adult association that serves as the political, social, economic, religious and moral authority of Lega society. Bwami is divided into a hierarchy of five grades for men and three for women.
Animals are important in Bwami symbolism, and elephant, pangolin, and hornbill all represent different levels of Bwami. Lega hats such as this reveal status among the Bwami secret society which governs most of Lega life.