Bamiléké Headdresses {Juju Hats}

I am officially obsessed.

I have watched these colourful hats pop up all over magazines, blogs, and pinterest and now I have determined that our apartment couldn’t possibly be complete without one ^~

While we Western pinterest-fiends have been using these exclusively as colourful wallhangings, juju hats (more formally known as Bamiléké headdresses) are actually a part of a ceremonial costume worn by royal dancers in Cameroon. They are purported to possess the positive qualities of the birds that give their feathers to make them, and represent both the beauty and fragility of life. They are often dyed in bright, gorgeous colours, or can be more natural and subdued. I love the idea of hanging a veritable celebration in your home!

I’ve been trying to find something to hang over our desk that doesn’t compete with the beautiful painting I recently purchased, but that adds an additional point of interest to our studio apartment. I’ve been looking at gallery walls, but I always find them too cluttered for my taste. My decorating style, as I’ve described, is white on white minimal/modern with bold splashes of colour. I love bright blues, greens, and fuchsias as my accents.

Ladies, gentlemen, may I present the splash of colour I was looking for:

JujuKronbali Juju HatJujuKronbali Juju Hat Blue and Pink The Block Shop Juju Hat

 

The only downside to Bamilékés is that they are outrageously expensive, no doubt owing to the work that goes into hand stitching each feather to a raffia base. I’ve found a few tutorials, like this one, and this one, and am considering trying my hand at making my own Juju hat out of feathers or wool. Either that, or perhaps begging for one for Christmas. A traditional tribal headdress wouldn’t be the most unusual Christmas request I’ve made! ^~

Sources

One/Two/Three/Four/Five

 

Hong Kong est. 2015

Hong Kong by G&HP

Once upon a time, a girl fell in love with a city. This beautiful, jungle metropolis of a city where a skyscraper is just as at home as a little temple, and the two often share a street corner. My boyfriend was born and raised there, and while I was studying in London — before we were dating — he urged me to come visit him. I hemmed and hawed for awhile, but then he went and bought the ticket, and it was done.

Ever since, I’ve been looking for a way back. Hong Kong is a thriving city, but it takes minutes to escape into the foggy mountains. Our days were filled with trips to pristine, empty beaches and long hikes that were always worth the view. It became, very quickly, one of my favourite places in the world.

Not long after we started dating, I surrendered my heart to both the man and the place. We were going to move back to Asia, we decided. And so I began learning my fourth and hardest language: Chinese. When we moved to Boston, I enrolled at Harvard to continue my Mandarin lessons. Today, I’m applying for a master’s in global marketing and PR that will begin next fall. But next spring-summer, I will be back here, in Hong Kong, on a four month immersion program that I hope will leave me functional, if not fluent.

I want to disappear into this beautiful city, and write my name in the white white sand.