Prestige CapArtist(s)TikarArtist NationalityTikarObject Creation Date20th centuryMedium & Supportcotton and dyeDimensions
6 7/8 in x 8 11/16 in (17.5 cm x 22 cm)Credit LineGift of Meryl Pinsof-PlattSubject matter
In the Cameroon Grassfields, hats and caps acted as signifiers of status. When all men covered their heads, most wore plain black caps. In the past, when slavery was in place, slaves were prohibited from wearing hats or caps. Titled or elite men wore more elaborated hats that varied in form and materials used. In addition to the shape of the hat denoting a man’s status in society, the materials used also contributed to the level of prestige represented in a hat.
This type of hat with burls and open circles, called ashetu
, would have been worn on formal occasions. Some hats, including this one, are similar to hairstyles once popular in the Grassfields region.
Homberger, L. 2008. Cameroon: Art and Kings.
Zürich: Museum Rietberg.
Northern, Tamara. 1984. The Art of Cameroon.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
Page, Donna. 2007. A Cameroon World: Art and Artifacts from the Caroline and Marshall Mount Collection.
New York: QCC Art Gallery Press.
Pemberton, John III. 2008. African Beaded Art: Power and Adornment.
Northampton, Mass.: Smith College Museum of Art.Physical Description
This knitted or crocheted hat in a tall, cylindrical shape has concentric circles and checkerboard patterns decorating the top. The body of the hat is made of small open circles and short rod-like projections. Primary Object Classification Costume and Costume Accessories Primary Object TypecapCollection AreaAfricanRights
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symbols of office or status