R6095/9 Isicholo Hat

Red women's isicholo flared hat with brightly coloured beadwork around the band

Isicholo (Museum Accession Number R6095/9)

This type of distinctive Isicholo hat is an enduring fashion icon. They originate from elaborate ochre dyed hairstyles worn by married Zulu women in the 19th century. These hats are made from a basketry frame, covered in red fabric and secured with a beaded woven headband. This example belonged to Johannesburg resident, Dineo Skwambane, and hung in her living room, along with two other hats and other decorative objects that celebrate her heritage. Isicholo are still very popular and are worn by Zulu women on important occasions. They are also popular with many southern African women; these type of accessories celebrate a Pan-African, postcolonial heritage and pride. Purchased from the owner in Johannesburg. Collected in South Africa for the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: unknown

Place: South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa

Date: 2002