Feather headdress

African, Bamileke peoples, Cameroon
mid 20th century
Artist Unidentified


Overall: 22.9 x 78.7 cm (9 x 31 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Feathers, vine, fiber, cotton cloth, string

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts



During ceremonial occasions, rulers and royal officials in the many kingdoms of the Bamileke peoples in the Grassfields region of Cameroon wear flamboyant headdresses made from feathers, among them the red tail feathers of the grey parrot. Such hats also appear as part of the costume of masked performers. The feathers attach to a mesh cap and the entire headdress can be turned inside out so that the fiber cap protects them.


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

Credit Line

Anonymous gift