Woman's Headdress
Possibly Nkutshu or Shoowa peoples
Kasai, DR Congo
Early 20th century
Tukula paste applied over a raffia cloth foundation
18 x 29 cm

The distinctive shape of this headdress, which is coated with hardened tukula paste, is related to the extended "buffalo horn" hairstyle which both Ngongo and Shoowa women were entitled to wear during their first pregnancy. Photographs from Emil Torday's 1907 expedition show that this unusual hairstyle was also worn by certain Kuba chiefs or elders.


Nkutshu Kuba Woman's Headdress