Kupiah, Hadj Hat
Hadj hats were commissioned by pilgrims before they set on their way to Mecca. As they made it all the way to the sacred Islamic shrines, these hats were infused with meaning and became power objects to be used later on ceremonial occasions with later additives including carved wooden trinkets and sumptuous brocade songkets.
Making these hats was a labour intensive job. About 3,500 individual pieces of silk cut on its bias have been sewn together masterfully to create this hat. It is decorated with colorful, geometric patterns and the center is a circle made of silk thread. An interior structure of straw holds its shape, and it is dyed with a faint pattern. Modern versions of these hats feature embroidery instead of the sewn silk fragments.
Circa: 19th century
Origin: Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia
Material: Silk with a fiber interior structure
Condition: Delicate but very good condition.
Dimensions: 7" wide, 3.5" tall
Inventory number: WR3974