Fulani Hat

This woven grass hat is typical of the conical hats worn by the Wodaabe , a pastoralist group of people native to West Africa, with many in Nigeria. The Wodaabe are part of a linguistic /ethnic group known as Fula or Fulani, stretching from the western edge of Chad to the Atlantic coast. Such a hat is typically worn with a turban under it. Examples typically have chinstraps and a leather knob atop the cone, and often have applied leather decoration. This example has a woven grass loop, for hanging. The spiralling bands of color, alternating with green, red, black and natural fiber color are typical also of such hats. The Wodaabe are one of many Fulani groups across West Africa, but are known as being nomadic while other Fula groups are settled. Similar hats are found among the Hausa of northern Nigeria, who are a non-Fulani group. They are settled and practice agriculture, utilizing the cattle manure of the nomadic Fulani peoples to fertilize their crops. Both groups make such hats, with the Hausa also making and trading such items for the tourist market.