In West Africa, a kufi cap is the traditional hat for men, and is part of the national costume of most of the countries in the region. It is worn by Africans of many religions. Many older men wear a kufi every day to symbolize their status as wise elders, religious people, or family patriarchs.
Within the United States, it has become identified primarily with persons of West African heritage, who wear it to show pride in their culture, history, and religion . Often made of kente cloth, mudcloth, or knitted or crocheted in a variety of yarns.
In the United States today, many African-Americans wear the kufi during weddings, funerals, graduations and Kwanzaa celebrations. Furthermore, people of mainly West African heritage of all faiths wear the kufi, although it is associated with members of the Islamic faith more.
For members of the Christian faith, the kufi is unisex, and is also worn by women. Crochet and knitted styles are preferred by young girls and infants.
Traditionally, when worn by men, the kufi is a sign of peace, mourning, renewal or protection of the mind.
Want to get your own kufi hat? Find hats and other African accessories by checking out the links below!