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    Artist Name:

    Kongo Artist

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    Democratic Republic of the Congo


    Royal Hat (Mpu)


    Late nineteenth–early twentieth century


    Woven fiber


    3 7/8 inches

    Credit Line:

    Gift of Mrs. Pauline Lathrop Shomler

    Accession Number:


    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102
    Made of knotted raffia or pineapple-leaf fiber, hats such as this one were worn by political leaders throughout the region of the former Kingdom of the Kongo (founded ca. 1400), which flourished along the coastal region of central Africa. The finely detailed geometric patterns of this hat resemble those woven into the beautiful velvet-like raffia textiles worn by Kongo royalty and formerly used as currency throughout the kingdom. The geometric patterns of Kongo hats, textiles, and mats were associated with the maze-like layout of the royal palace and streets of the capital.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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