Unwrapping and Hanging your Juju Hat
Here at Zeal Living, we are juju hat experts! We are proud to offer authentic African juju hats, handmade by our artisan partners in Cameroon. These gorgeous headdresses are very important to the culture of the Bamiléké people. Traditionally worn in royal ceremonies, they are thought to carry with them all of the positive symbolic meaning of birds - freedom, lightness, flight - as well as abundance and royalty. We love that these pieces are not only beautiful but carry such rich meaning into your homes and lives.
Juju hats are designed with the ability to fold inward into a drum shape, which protects the feathers. Your juju hat will arrive folded inward, wrapped tightly with string, and encased in bubble wrap.
When your juju hat arrives, untie the outer strings - but do not cut them! Once you do this, the juju hat will loosen, and you can gently open it outwards. At the back base of the juju, there is a tab you can use to press the center of the hat inwards. Gently press the tab all the way in until it pops into place. Some juju hats are woven more tightly than others - this pop may or may not be noticeable. You'll know your juju is fully open when the center of the hat is even, and the feathers don't lean one way or the other.
Once your juju hat is open, it will need to have its outer edges straightened out and made even. Gently use your fingers to reposition the feather bundles on the outer edges, and finger comb the interior feathers until they even and in place. For particularly troublesome areas, like the outer edges, you can use a blow dryer on cool to fluff them up.
Your juju hat has a string loop built in to the back support rim to make hanging easy.
General Cleaning and Care instructions:
Because feathers are a natural material, moths can become attracted to them. To protect your juju, we recommend placing a small amount of cedar or lavender near the back. Additionally you can spray it periodically with a moth spray, available online or at your local hardware store.
Juju hats attract a surprisingly little amount of dust, especially on the feathers - but they will need a dusting from time to time. We recommend using a blow dryer on cool.
All photographs by Analy Lee, Analy Photos