joss graham

Hats and headwear are a significant part of dress in all parts of the world whether they are functional or ceremonial; symbolic of status or rank in a civil or religious context, or simply for adornment. Natural and man-made materials are employed in a huge spectrum of skills. In many African countries, hat styles are amusingly inventive. The blue and white crocheted Ashetu (prestige) hats from Cameroon are augmented with burls which imitate hairstyles; in Ethiopia, both boys and men make colourful striped hats using a crochet hook or an adapted safety pin.

In the princely states of India - as can be seen in the miniature paintings from the 16th century onwards - the turban was essential head dress in all strata of society. Turbans dyed in one colour were worn for daily use but tie-dyed pagri with multicoloured patterns were for special occasions.