Zulu Hats are called Isicholos in Zulu and are traditionally worn by the married Zulu woman of South Africa during religious and cultural ceremonies, however more and more young woman of all cultures are wearing these Isicholos as a fashion statement. Zulu Hats come in every color of the rainbow nation with varying amounts of detail, they are also available in different sizes. Cultural artifacts like these Zulu Hats have become a symbol of the Zulu women's national identity and showcase their creative expression.
ZULU HAT DECOR.
Interior decorators in South Africa have also recognized the Zulu Hats vibrant colors and intricate African designs make inspiring traditional art pieces and hang them as wall art and decor. The proceeds from the sale of these African artifacts creates sustainable employment for a large number of rural Zulu woman who are some of the poorest people in South Africa, with little opportunity of finding any other meaningful employment.
HOW TO MAKE A ZULU HAT.
A cursory inspection of Zulu Hats and one would never notice the different skills and talent required to complete just one of these African masterpieces. The framework of all Zulu Hats is made from palm fronds and grass woven together using age old basket weaving techniques (see image to the right). This is then covered in material and an inner lining is added. Lastly an intricate array of embroidered trim-work is added to give the hats their significant Zulu look.
CAMILLA DONS A ZULU HAT.
As part of a warm welcome extended to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, she was presented with a traditional Zulu hat on the second day of the five day South African trip with Prince Charles while visiting Soweto Township. They were also entertained by vibrant dancers wearing brightly colored traditional outfits.
Zulu hats are worn pulled down over their heads almost touching their ears, Europeans have a habit of wearing the hat perched on top of their heads.