I bought Kuba cloths from an African trader friend for years. One time when he came through, I couldn’t resist this Kuba hat. I have a book on African art and there are a couple of pictures there showing men wearing similar hats. They perch on the top of their heads and are used for ceremonial occasions. The Kuba people live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, and have a King who has held his throne since 1969.
Wikipedia has some info on their social structure and their art.
This hat is probably from the 1950’s. Fabric covers a support structure, woven like a basket and then the cowrie shells were sewn through the basket and back again from the back. There is a dark patina showing that the hat was worn.
Shipping is free worldwide on this hat.