Delaire Graff Estate, Africa Nova-Zulu Isicholo (Married Woman’s Hat)

Zulu Isicholo (Married Woman’s Hat)

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Zulu, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, c.1960
Woven plant fibres and red ochre
940 g | 29cm D
Zulu people traditionally wore elaborate coiffures signifying their age and status. Married women wore large, wide hairstyles which were coloured with red ochre. At the turn of the 20th century, after the British annexed the Zulu Kingdom, the traditional coiffures were gradually replaced by hats, initially woven from human hair, until about the mid-century. These married women’s hats, called izicholo are woven from grass and plant fibres and coloured with red ochre.