The various Bwami hats called Makuba wa Masesa, reflect the status of the member. This hat has a vegetable fiber cap which is covered in cowrie shells with a trade button chin strap. It is crowned with elephant tail and was probably worn by a member who has reached Kendi or the highest rank. The shells were once used as a sort of currency suggesting a wealth of wisdom and the elephant tail is symbolic of the animals great strength and strength of the wearer. Once worn with pride and now a great art object. In excellent condition with no losses or damage. 7.5" in diameter, 8.25" to top of the cowrie crown and 12" to the top of the elephant tail. Circa 1970.