helmets (clothing: headwear)

Knitted protective helmet/mask in light fawn wool, with brown wool pattern on each cheek, and surrounding eye and nose slits. Mouth hole outlined in red wool. Knitted tassel with knotted end on top of crown.

This balaclava is from Peru. These type of balaclavas are used as protection against stones thrown by sling-shots in ritual battles called tinku, which would happen between opposing villages. The idea is to fight until enough blood has been spilled as an offering to the earth. The offering of blood in this way is part of a very complex cosmological process of continuing fertility.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk