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Democratic Republic of Congo
Fabric, glass beads, cowrie shells, cuprous metal
Gift of Rod McGalliard
This hat covered with beads and cowries, called kupash, is one of several types of hats worn in council meetings and ceremonies that reveal rank of the wearer. The beaded adornments of costly imported glass beads and cowrie shells, along with the copper dome on the top, are signs of wealth and high status. The beaded blue and white pattern on the base of this hat is called myeeng, representing fish scales, and is used on garments of royals and nobles.