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Reserved for royalty

21 Sep 2017


Reserved for royalty

The Bamileke feather headdress or Tyn hat, better known as the Juju hat from Cameroon, is steeped in historical magic. Flamboyant and beautiful, they make extraordinary interior art pieces.

But the pretty Juju has a real purpose too. Here’s why. The Bamileke people of Cameroon, like so many ancient and African cultures, saw their land annexed by Germany in the late 19th century, ending violently at the hands of the French and British in the 1900s. Despite long years of poverty and suffering and a struggle for independence many Bamileke traditions remain to this day. The Juju is no exception. Worn by dancers during royal tribal ceremonies held by a chief, the hat is thought to be a power object. It is said that the Juju hat emulates the positive qualities of birds and we can see how!

The Juju is an astounding feathery pageant unto itself. These objects are more than fanciful, they’re items that are believed to bring certain qualities such as prosperity to the wearer of the hat and bestow ‘good-luck’. With such symbolic good fortune in mind, a Juju headdress can make a stunning focal point offering everyone a piece of the prestige once reserved for kings and warriors only.

Original Juju hats are created by master weavers from rural villages in Cameroon over a period of up to three days. They’re made from an abundance of wild bird, guinea fowl and chicken feathers which are dyed and dried during the dry months of the year. A base of grass is woven solid creating a platform for the feathers. The finished article is folded into a neat basket shape and is fully portable, gently protecting the feathers which unfurl into their circular sweeps of colour.

Love texture? It’s an essential design trick that rocks the most sought-after design spaces. Juju hat feathers provide a uniquely soft feel to any room specially when paired with more durable surfaces like marble, glass, leather, reed, cotton and rattan. It’s this clever mix that distinguishes a professional interior from any other.

Whimsy is key with these pieces. A collection of Juju’s grouped together will highlight your interior décor scheme and bring a powerful yet fun presence so fabulous that it cannot be ignored. They’re gorgeous, easy on the eye, with a circular shape that’s bound to attract admirable attention as a conversation piece for starters.

Colour has the ability to affect your psychology. Use the Juju hats as inspirations for colour schemes and patterns. Set a theme and go with it. Be brave. They’re light and portable so you can swap them out according to your mood. The beauty of interior décor is that its as permanent or impermanent as you want it to be as long as your basics are right. They’re an easy way to add edgy style to a room and you can put that fiddly China collection to rest in a storage box while you experiment with an authentic African design item in style.

 

 


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