Man's wig

images for Man's wig
Object Name
emedot
Label Text
Among the pastoral Karamojong of Kenya and eastern Uganda, men wear mudpack coiffures after they are initiated into adulthood. Well-groomed hair is a sign of strength, courage and masculinity. In celebration of their new status, they assume the regalia of young warriors, including an ornamented coiffure that involves packing clay into the hair and forming a chignon at the back of the head. When the clay has dried, it is divided into sections, colored with various ochres, stippled with a tooth comb and decorated with beads or pieces of chain, as is the front of this headdress. This hairstyle generally remains the same throughout a man's adult life. A man can display his status as an elder by adding ostrich plumes through wire coils inserted into the headdress. This wig is representative of those in current use.
Mud packed headdress or coiffure with chignon at the back of the head. Pigment and hairs embellish the mud-pack. A crest of black ostrich feathers is accented with a large white feather on either side.
Provenance
Michel Hughenin, Paris
Emile M. and Lin Deletaille, Brussels, -- to 1986
Exhibition History
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., April 22, 2013-February 23, 2014; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, October 15, 2015-March 9, 2016
TxtStyles: Fashioning Identity, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 11-December 7, 2008
Hats Off! A Salute to African Headwear, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., July 18-December 26, 1999
Published References
Milbourne, Karen E. 2013. Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa. New York: The Monacelli Press; Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 27, no. 12.
National Museum of African Art. 1999. Selected Works from the Collection of the National Museum of African Art. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 162, no. 118.
Topic
Initiation
Status
Adornment
Male use
National Museum of African Art
Karamojong artist
Credit Line
Gift of Emile and Lin Deletaille
Medium
Hair, ceramic, ostrich feathers, metal, pigment
Dimensions
H x W x D: 35.5 x 70 x 60 cm (14 x 27 9/16 x 23 5/8 in.)
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Geography
Kenya
Uganda
Mid-late 20th century
Type
Costume Accessory
Object number
86-8-1