12 April 18: The one that got away

Hands up who is haunted by the one that got away?

I don’t mean a person – I mean an object you saw on holiday, wish you’d bought and can’t seem to get out of your head. I remember seeing a feather headdress (like this purple one in a Brooklyn market, bottom left) when I went on honeymoon to South Africa in 2002. It was bright red, stunning and shouted at me, in no uncertain terms, ‘Take me home with you!’ Against my better judgement (I thought I’d see them everywhere) I ignored its tempting pleas and to this day I wish I hadn’t. These Juju (or Tyn) ceremonial hats made by the Bamileke tribes of Cameroon are worn on special occasions and are seen as a sign of prosperity but also (because they are made of feathers) the fragility of life. I’m not sure if the colours have a specific significance: do you? I’d love to know.

Martha, The Colour File x

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