Image Gallery → All Images

  • Beaded Doll (Ham Pilu)
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Beaded Apron
  • Elephant Mask
  • Man's Prestige Hat (ashetu)
  • Face Mask
  • Male Royal Ancestor Mask
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Kuba Belt
  • Sash with Triangular Pendant
  • Hat (Mpaan)
  • Hat
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Beaded Coronet
  • Female Twin Figure
  • Royal Slippers
  • Divination Tapper
  • Beaded Crown (adenla)
  • Diviner's Bag
  • Seated Female Figure
  • Fertility Figure
  • Small Bag
  • Doll
  • Bride's Apron
  • Bride's Apron
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Ndebele Doll
  • Dance Staff
  • Dance Staff
  • Married Woman's Apron
  • Gala Blanket
  • Child Figure
  • Wrap Skirt
  • Diviner's Headdress
  • Man's Wedding Apron
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel
  • Lidded Vessel (Beer Pot)
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel
  • Man's Back Tie
  • Beaded Panel
  • Beaded Panel Pin
  • Doll
  • Woman's Tobacco Bag
  • Woman's Purse
  • Woman's Belt
  • Woman's Apron
  • Child Figure
  • Bridal Walking Stick
  • Child's Apron
  • Wedding Cape
  • Married Woman's Belt
  • Young Matron's Dress
  • Koranic Amulet
  • Beaded Earflap
  • Beaded Earflap
Hat (Mpaan)

Hat (Mpaan)

Kuba People
Democratic Republic of Congo
Hat (mpaan)
20th Century
Fabric, glass beads, cowrie shells
Gift of Rod McGalliard
2003.40.9

Flat topped hats, mpaan, are worn for ceremonies that display family wealth and unity, as well as funerals for high-ranking individuals and other important community events. Only women in the king’s entourage may be authorized to wear the mpaan. The mpaan serves as a base for the more elaborately beaded conical hat, the kupash. The black and white triangular beaded pattern on the sides is called lakwoon, meaning “crochet.” The cowry shell accentuated by rings of glass beads in the center of the cap echoes the large white conus shell adornment on royal headdresses.

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