Ceremonial headdress


I know very little about the purpose of this amusing headgear and where it belongs. It was purchased in a village shop, where I happened to be during hiking in the Toraja ethnic villages in the southern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Toraja are renowned for their traditional peaked-roof houses that look like ships and their custom of making wooden Tau Tau (effigies of the deceased) that they place near the rock tombs. The hat looks like an Indonesian stove; only it is worn slouched. A pocket is sewed to the frontal part where they insert two bony horns decorated with rhombic carvings; in addition, large ungulate teeth are hanging down from each of them. Once there had been more teeth here, and the hat used to belong, apparently, to a local shaman or some religious cult leader. Today the Toraja increasingly turn to Christianity or Islam, and the old cult accessories are out of fashion, which allowed me to purchase this rarity.