Zulu Hats (isicholo)
Zulu women (Natal region) traditionally wear wide hats to proclaim their married status. These hats are made with natural hair, died red with plants.
The hat is based on a hairstyle that married Zulu women wore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Initially, Zulu women shaved their heads, leaving a tuft of hair that they covered with fat and ochre. Later they grew the tuft into a truncated cone, wove other materials into the hair and covered their hair with fat and ochre. The women also wore headbands as a sign of respect for the adult men in their husbands¹ families.
By the turn of the century a woven hat that to this day is usually worn on special occasions replaced the cone-shaped hairstyle.