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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Crocheted Rasta Hat

Object Details

c. 1991
acrylic fiber
1 15/16 × 11 13/16 in. (5 × 30 cm)
This crocheted Rasta hat holds special meaning for many Rastafarians, followers of a Jamaican-born fusion of religion and Black consciousness that reveres Ethiopia as a past and future homeland. The hat’s black outer band encircles a red ring, while gold yarn creates a pattern along the edges of the crown’s deep green. The colors represent the blood of martyrs in the Black liberation struggle (red), Ethiopia’s natural beauty (green), Africa’s wealth (gold), and African people (black). While Rastafari women tend toward turbans, men favor these tams which could cover dreadlocks grown in keeping with hair-care tenets. Those who joined the 1930s-era movement were often persecuted for their appearance, and the hats became political statements. Eventually, the Rasta hat gained global popularity with non-Rastifarians, for whom it symbolizes Black empowerment, activism, or simply fashion.
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