Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

enkuraru headdress
  • unknown Maasai maker
  • enkuraru headdress, early 1900s–1968
  • Where object was made: Kenya
  • ostrich feathers, leather, cloth, shell, pigment, beading, dyeing
  • Object Height/Width: 101 x 61 cm
    Object Height/Width: 39 3/4 x 24 in
  • Gift of Karen Sueetta Joyce
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2801
Label Text

The almond shaped headdress is made of ostrich plumes behind a smaller almond-shaped leather band. Most of the feathers are black, but the feathers at either end are longer and grey tipped with red. The top tuft of light feathers is larger and the other points downward. The red leather band is decorated with red and white beads on one side nearest the opening and black and white beads on the other side nearest the opening. There are red and green beads on the outer edge of the leather on one side, and light blue and orange on the other. There are short horizontal bands between the edges in combinations of the above colors. Two cowrie shells are held on with beaded strips.

The short cloth strips act as ties to wear the headdress, so the face is visible behind the almond-shaped opening.

The enkuraru is worn during the Eunoto ceremony which marks the end of one age set's period known as morran (junior warriors).