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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Woman's hat

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Amongst many African communities, headwear and hairstyles are important signifiers of social, religious, and political status that can represent deeply held cultural beliefs. Many Zulu women wear this type of flared hat (isicholo), which was traditionally reserved for married women. Today, this...

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Between 1980s and 1990s, acquired in Paris by anonymous donors; 2009, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession date: January 20, 2010)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

African, Zulu peoples, South Africa, early 20th century


Overall: 10.2 x 30.5 cm (4 x 12 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cotton over grass-fiber basketry frame, pigment, blue wool felt over grass and paper interior.


Africa and Oceania