“Lahetô” Occipital Headdress


Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid

Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid
Madrid, Spain

Rear headdress comprising a central circle of black feathers surrounded by another circle of larger, white feathers, secured to the cord base using knots. Shafts emerge from the ends of the feathers and are wrapped in cotton using a special technique used by the Karajá, ending with a small feather. In the rite of passage for male youths of the Karajá, adolescent boys of a certain age and married men wear this headdress, called “lahetô" (house for the head), while the boys who are going to be initiated wear a different headdress: a hat with the red feathers of a macaw. The “Lahetô” symbolizes the sun, though some researchers believe that it may also represent the village, with the houses arranged in a circle and the men's house at the center.


  • Title: “Lahetô” Occipital Headdress
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1950/1991
  • Physical Dimensions: Ø144 cm
  • Type: Featherwork
  • External Link: CERES
  • Materials: Feathers, reeds, vegetable fiber, cotton, resin.
  • Cultural Context: Karajá (Amazon area), Brazil

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