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Money hat

 

Height: 60.000 cm (including pendants)
Diameter: 20.000 cm

Collected by Shelagh Weir for The British Museum

AOA Ethno 1968.As4.5

Africa, Oceania, Americas

    Money hat

    From Samu'ah, southern Hebron hills, modern Palestinian Authority, AD 1840s (with later additions)

    This headdress or 'money hat' (wuqayat al-darahem) was made commercially by Bethlehem women for the use of villagers in the hills of southern Palestine. The original embroidery on the crown has been overlaid with more recent embroidery. The headdress was worn in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century during the wedding ceremony, especially for the 'going out to the well' ceremony when the bride appeared in public as a married woman for the first time. The headdress displayed the pride and status of the family, and was passed down through the generations.

    This headdress has clearly had many owners, each of whom added coins or trinkets. The most numerous coins are Ottoman Turkish, dating from the reign of Mahmud I (1730-54) to that of Mahmud II (1808-39), with further silver and copper eighteenth- and nineteenth-century coins, and a Romanian 2-lei piece dated 1924. Other ornaments include sixteenth-century German brass counters, a brass army badge, triangular white metal amulets and various glass, plastic, imitation pearl and coral beads and buttons. The headdress also features crescents, 'hands of Fatimah' (against the evil eye) and a pink plastic hand.

    S. Weir, Palestinian costume (London, The British Museum Press, 1989)

    S. Weir, 'A bridal headdress from southern Palestine', Palestine Exploration Quarterl (January-June 1973)

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