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 Post subject: unidentified cap
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:17 am 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Netherlands
Last Sunday I was still laying on an antique market in Tongeren
(Belgium) and when Monique passed by she took me in het hands and inmediately fell in love with me. The only problem is that she doesn't know where I come from. Who can help her? I have brown cotton inside and a blue material with flowers outside. The front en the small laps on the ears are covered with small red and yellow beads and a thin iron chain ( like where you put your key on) the are buttons all over and on the top there are coins (I cannot recognise the country, there are two swards and numbers/ letters I cannot read). I am a cap for a small baby"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Canterbury, UK
Monique

Congratulations on your successful first post!

Now have some patience whilst members put on their thinking caps - no pun intended - and consult their reference books.

The 'feel' (not scientific reaction this) at first sight is that it might be North West Territories.

regards

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


Last edited by Pamela on Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:50 pm
Posts: 101
Location: Cheam, UK
This baby's cap is an interesting find. Headdresses in all their variety, I think, hold a certain attraction. I am sure I have seen similar pieces to this in a book called "Textiles of Central Asia" published by Thames and Hudson which I have only seen in passing. Has anyone else on the forum access to this reference?
However, at least to start, I have a couple of photos in a book called "Babies Celebrated" by B Fontanel and C D'harcourt which is full of photos of children and their parents, from Asia, Africa and South America, in their traditional dress. It also contains a detailed text about the child rearing practices of the cultures illustrated.
The photos of interest here, are of babies from Nuristan (Afghanistan) wearing similar caps with side flaps, decorated with ornaments of various kinds, notably coins. I seem to remember somewhat similar caps are worn by infants in parts of Pakistan. Children of the Pashtun are also shown with hats decorated with metal dangling ornaments and pompoms. The text states that bits of metal, buttons and cowrie shells are used as amulets, and in the Himalayas, cowries are attached to a baby's hat to serve as a refuge for the soul when it is pursued by demons.
The projection at the top of the cap above echoes a similar element found in women's headdresses across a large area of central Asia, the middle East and parts of North Africa. I have called these headdresses "helmet like" due to their shape, which, at a glance, resembles helmets once worn by warriors in Persia, central Asia and Russia, and their origin as feminized forms of warrior's helmets has been theorised by some researchers. (see my entry in the "ethnic hats and caps" post on the forum).
These headdresses are particularly dramatic among the Chuvash of the Volga region of Russia and the Turkmen of central Asia. Other examples that I have seen displaying this design in a more vestigial form come from northern India and northern Sudan.
It it possible that this pointed apex to the baby's cap above could contribute to its symbolic protective function?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
A helpful post, Siriol.

I have the book: ‘Traditional Textiles of Central Asia’ by Janet Harvey published by Thames and Hudson. On page 39 figures 55-7 shows: ‘Kohistani children’s hats, worn constantly in the harsh mountain climate, and elaborately worked with protective motifs and amulets. Embroidered ear-flaps and long back panels safeguard the most vulnerable areas of the head.’ A couple of these hats have some similarities with Monique’s market find. The colouring of Monique’s hat is very much from modern fabric whereas these are traditional quite deep red-based. I had a look at where Kohistan is on a map on page 14 in the book and it is slightly south west of Tajikistan, very mountainous and I think part almost part of the Hindu Kush mountains. Afghanistan is to the west and Kabul is quite close. Delhi is directly to the south.

So, possibly the right location but I did not feel a complete 'Eureka' this is it!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: new information
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 6:04 am 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 4:55 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Netherlands
Today I had a great talk with one of the doctors in the rehabilitation clinic where I work. He comes from Afghanistan and I showed him the small blue baby hat which I bought on an antique market in Belgium. He immediately recognised the hat as being from his country, he knew the coins that were attached to the hat, some from Saudi Arabia and several from Afghanistan (the year that was mentioned on one was 1960). We had such an interesting talk. It definitely comes from the border of Afghanistan and North west Pakistan (Chitral region ). I have met so many nice people because of this hobby


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