Powerful Headdresses: Africa | Asia, by Anne van Cutsem & Mauro Magliani
Over the centuries, craftsmen have applied their creativity and technical skills to exploit the generous resources of Nature to marvellous effect.
In this case they have employed seeds, leaves, flowers and fibres from the plant world, along with feathers, plain or iridescent shells, teeth, and fur from the animal kingdom to fashion objects of astonishing beauty, enhanced with the addition of elements in iron, copper, silver, and gold.
Such materials have always provided the basis for magnificent headdresses of all varieties, including hats, caps, crowns, and headbands. Each class of individual sported a distinct type of headdress: initiates and adults, hunters and warriors, religious dignitaries and healers, rulers and notables; unmarried girls, married women, and young mothers.
This selection of 120 African and Asian headdresses from the Ira Brind collection takes readers into the most hidden corners of two continents throughout the 20th century. In each case the author explains their opulence and symbolism to the reader.