late 1800s-early 1900s
Raffia palm fiber, leopard claws
Overall: 42 x 19.3 x 19 cm (16 9/16 x 7 5/8 x 7 1/2 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1997.180
Power is transferred to the new chief along with the cap of his predecessor.
In Congo, traditional village chiefs and rulers hold authority over political, judicial, and economic spheres. The chief’s power is manifested through powerful implements, including the cap. In fact, the village leader's title means "Chief of the Cap." This cap has eight leopard claws confirming the owner’s high status.
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