Decorative Arts and Design
An Aymara official (curaca or kuraka) would have worn this hat during a festival held in Potosí (in present-day Bolivia), one of the most prominent sites of silver mining in the Spanish Americas. The design features native and European flora and fauna surrounding a central triangular shape that represents the Cerro de Potosí (see illustration), the mountain where silver was mined beginning in the 1540s. The production of this precious metal was dependent on the forced labor of tens of thousands of Indigenous workers and enslaved Africans. As the transatlantic market for silver grew, so too did the Spanish Empire’s reliance on systems of enslavement and racial caste.
Repoussé silver plaques on velvet, glass beads, wire
4 15/16 x 13 1/4 x 13 1/4 in. (12.5 x 33.7 x 33.7 cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund
Silver hat, part of a ceremonial costume consisting of a jacket and knee breeches which are in the collection of the Industrial design lab. High rounded crown and circular brim. Damasked purplish red velvet with floral pattern is under silver ornament. Lining of the hat is orange and white printed cotton flannel. The silver designs consist of vase and flowers, cornucopia, birds, elephant and dogs, strawberries, lion, chicken, moon, sun, church, llamas, mermaids playing mandolins etc. Streamers of silver chain hang down the back.
This item is not on view
Possibly Aymara. Festival Hat, 18th century. Repoussé silver plaques on velvet, glass beads, wire, 4 15/16 x 13 1/4 x 13 1/4 in. (12.5 x 33.7 x 33.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 41.1275.274c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.1275.274c_PS9.jpg)
overall, 41.1275.274c_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.