So you have a space - a wall, white and wickedly grinning like the teeth of a salesman. A space so devoid of feeling that you shudder. A space - a wall, white and wanting. Wanting for something. To be adorned, bride- like. To be ceremonially garlanded. Wanting to be worshipped with ornamentation.  

As purveyors of luxe homewares, we sometimes get pretty excited by the adornment of empty walls that are wanting decoration. Humour us a little. Allow us to indulge.  

The wall needs a narrative - a story. To be infused with mystery and to be marked with adventure. The wall needs to possess a little magic. 

Enter the Juju Hat.  

A first introduction to juju hats always begs the question - ‘The What?’ So let’s talk about what a juju hat is, where it has come from, and how it is going to solve the problem of our space. 

What is it? 

What we now refer to as a juju hat is best described as a feathery, circular flower- like wall hanging. Buyers might be surprised to find that it is not in fact headwear. Wall art like these come in a plethora of colours and shades - from vibrant to earthy. Traditionally though, the hats were painstakingly made over several days using the natural or dyed feathers of wild birds tacked onto a weave of palm fibres. The hats were stored with feathers folded up and inward - much like a closed flower. A leather strap was attached to the back to open it to full bloom.  It is the perfect bohemian showpiece. 

The Origins 

Interior styling is inspired and directed by cultural influences. Unique homewares and ornamentation are a tribute to the customs and traditions from around our fine globe. Juju hats are no exception.  

The elaborate plumage and festive colours of juju hats originally meant to decorate the Bamileke people from Western Cameroon. As the name suggests, juju hats were originally worn as headdresses by prominent members of the tribes - only a chosen few were allowed to wear them. The Bamileke are a warrior society that survived the European invasion of west Africa. Though many years of subjugation has left its mark on the Bamileke, they are still revered for their intricate traditional costumes and customs.  

The combination of strength, beauty, wealth and pageantry that define the royal ceremonies of the Bamileke are embodied in the elaborate feathered crowns which today decorate rooms around the world – offering everyone a bit of the prestige that was once the sole province of warriors and kings.  Aphrochic 

The Mystery 

The most elaborate Juju hats are worn by the Mkem – the custodians of hereditary rights. Mkem and royalty wear the hats in combination with animal masks. It is believed that the chief or Fon has supernatural powers, with which he can transform into an animal.  

Traditionally, juju hats are said to be imbued with magical powers. They have the ability to bestow prosperity, luck and protection not just to those it adorned but to any who came into contact with it.  

Understandably, the intricate beauty and mystery of the juju hat has since taken the home decor world by storm. While juju hats found in boho homeware stores will not possess the same powers that they give to the Mkem of the Bamileke tribes, perhaps - if we dream a little, they will bestow some spellbinding magic to our blank wall spaces.  


Discover your juju online and found out more about traditional Juju Hats and Bamileke culture here and here. 


Additional content