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 bundle of elephant hairs ( from the tail of an elephant) rise out of the top. An elephant's tail sy 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.
The elephant hairs of this hat is a clear sign that this hat was worn by a high ranking person of the Bwami society. This is because the elephant was the most important wild animal for the Lega, and only men in the highest rank of the Bwami ( kindi) were entitled to wear objects made from parts of the elephant (ivory, hair, etc.). Animals are important in Bwami symbolism, and elephant, pangolin, and hornbill all represent different levels of Bwami.