Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Bamileke Headdress or baby Juju hat

The African fertility gods have been kind to the Sow's Ear. We've been chanting hypnotically, "Ju-ju, Ju-ju" for forty days and forty nights and lo, a miracle of a baby Juju appeared before our very eyes.

Perhaps not quite... I just wanted an interesting introduction to this blog post...

Anyway, I won a Juju hat in a blog giveaway hosted by Sarah from Squeezed Daily ( a very cool design blog with an exotic tropical bent). Sarah recently sold her house and is now living on a boat with her family. She no longer had need of her baby Juju hat and put it up for adoption.

I'm its new Mama! And its a girl!

So here she is:

Baby Juju hat
white and magenta
Thanks Sarah!! Baby Juju is just beautiful.

I was trying to find some information about Juju hats on the Internet, but you mostly get the sales and marketing gaff from the people selling it. The term Juju is actually a term which describes West African religion or voodoo according to Wikipedia, my go-to for such things.

The Juju hat is also called a Bamileke headdress or Tsa Ntang Disc from the West African nation of Cameroon. They were used for ceremonial purposes and were traditionally made from parrot feathers.

They are now mostly made from chicken feathers.

How to wear a Bamileke hat
image from here
There is an interesting website which I stumbled upon which talks in more detail about the tradition of the headdress and the Bamileke elephant masks. There are amazing photographs of the headdress being worn in the 1930s. I thought it was fascinating to see the headdress in its traditional context rather than the decor context which it is now often associated. Go HERE if you are interested.

There are quite a few online traders who sell Juju/Bamileke hats in Australia. I've compiled a little list here for those who are interested:
Safari Fusion
the fairtrade store
table tonic


  1. I love these hats Anita. It looks great where you have it and you can't go past the magenta giving a splash of colour to the room. Beautiful!Lucky you!...T

  2. Very interesting Anita!! I have an image in my head...Jason painting with the JuJu on....hmmm, now that is bloggable!!

  3. Interesting!

    I'd like to come and steal that fabulous chair.

    TDM xx

  4. Well the first thing I thought was where is mr Rooney when you need a good gag ? Can just imagine what he would have to say? I love it, you are so lucky and good choice on its new location wall wise. Xx Katherine

  5. lucky thing, looks there's also a couple of sellers on ebay - good prices too!

  6. Oh fabulous...I'm so glad it's gone to a good home (even if it's not mine!). Looks wonderful :)

  7. Miss Silk Purse

    Now if ever I entered your door in to your room - I do hope I don't find you in the JuJu hat and then a puff of Zombie dust gets blown in my face :)

    looks pretty on the wall - but I get a bit creepy crawly with the thought of Voodoo.

    have a wonderful day

    loulou, from hereiamloulou blog


  8. Thanks everyone.
    I think I first saw juju hats on your blog Teresa!
    Meg, Jason raised an eyebrow at your comment. He's thinking about it.
    And yes, Katherine, where is Mr Ronney indeed? He has been quiet. He might be a tad jealous of our juju, I suspect.
    Jules, yes I've seen the ones on ebay too. They are fantastically priced...I should've mentioned that on my post.
    Oh thanks Kerry. You've got your hot pink juju already!! If things don't work out between me and the baby, I'll send her your way.
    Loulou, Ha! If I'm wearing that hat it will most probably be because I am drunk! xx

  9. Gee, I thought you were about to announce you were pregnant. What a great prize you lucky girl but I am feeling rather lucky today also. Thanks and enjoy the ju ju it looks perfect on your wall. ;-)

  10. Goodness me, how unusual and lovely - it really suits your place. Mr Rooney will be sitting quietly at home perfecting his bongo rhythms before he dares come round.

  11. Thanks so much for the mention in your blog posting!

    Warm wishes,


  12. Wow, it looks fabulous on that wall, very interesting about the story behind them, I've been meaning to google but you've done the leg work for me. If someone dose you wrong, you can threaten you'll get your juju on!

    Thanks for the shout out too!

    Sar x

  13. Looks great, and thanks for the introduction to Sarah's blog. There are many chilly days in Melbourne where I could welcome a quick tropical fix.

  14. Perfect spot for it too! A-M xx

  15. It looks so exotic on your wall! I love how your house is shaping up.

  16. Hooray for the ju-ju - she looks perfectly at home!

    Love K


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