Lega hats reveal status among the Bwami secret society which governs most of Lega life. Animals are important in Bwami symbolism, and elephant, pangolin, and hornbill all represent different levels of Bwami. This one is decorated with buttons the Lega got from Europeans. Besides any aesthetic consideration, these buttons added value and prestige to the hat. Hats such as this were worn by the grader members of the Bwami, the Ngandu and Yananio.
SHOP, THE NEW HARLEM WORLD SHOP!
They were worn during the ceremonies and dances celebrating new graders or initiates. The buttons were most likely from the clothing of western missionaries.
Price: $ 225