Sunday, February 19, 2012

Juju hats

Cameroon Chickens and Bamileke Bonnets

White juju hat from eBay, candlesticks l'Objet, Whole Foods pussy willow sticks, and Plantation Design wire mesh balls on the mantle in my living room.

Juju hats!   My first encounter with a juju hat was in Alessandra Branca's store ( in downtown Chicago.  And, the love affair started immediately.  Who knew that something as delightfully simple as chicken feathers could create such a dramatic focal point?

Today, bamileke hats, cameroon feathered headdresses, or juju hats have become that interesting "sought after" item in the design world.  Finding them isn't the easiest or the cheapest task.  Google tends to be the fastest resource, though I've purchased them from eBay ( and from Snob ( in Canada.

Traditionally, they are worn for celebrations in the forrested mountains of Cameroon.  Dancers, dignitaries, and chiefs wear these brightly colord hats known as Tyn or Juju hats.   Fortunately, we can put them on our walls!  And... the results are simply fantastic. 

In the past couple of years, the design world loved the peacock.  Lord knows, peacocks were displayed on mantles, beside chairs, and hanging from staircases... and photographed for every design magazine known to the modern world. Those silly birds were even made into scads of decorative items (notably by Jonathan Adler,   

Today, the African feathered headress has become that hot decorating commodity.  Recently, they've even been featured by Candice Olson and Genevieve Gorder on HGTV.  So, if you've grown weary of the peacock fascination, here are some juju hat ideas...

Simply spectacular punch of color with that yellow juju hat!

Pretty in pink.

...and a matching pair of juju hats.  Kudos!  Wonderful repeating design element in the room.

Juju hat and zebra rug... Safari anyone?

Obviously this photo is staged, but... what a lovely idea for a guest room. 

Pink juju hat photographed at Marché aux Puces, Paris, France

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