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Bunny Ears / Hat of the Day Sketch – Martinique 3-pointed madras turban, 2003

February 16, 2010

While I feel I should pay tribute to Mardi Gras and the fashion it inspires (Happy Mardi Gras to you, btw!), I was moved to draw something else yesterday and didn’t have time to tackle it until today.

This is fun stuff:

Have y’all heard about the trend that started last fall of bunny ears (and sometimes cat and other critter ears) as a fashion statement?  You can find some interesting articles here and here – I particularly like Maison Michel’s version, very classy.

Maison Michel bunny ears, 2009

What do you think of the bunny ear trend?

The funny thing is that the various styles of bunny ears remind me of the madras turbans worn by women in Martinique for a couple hundred years.  Most women there stopped wearing the madrases in the early 1900s but the woman in the photo from which I drew today’s Hat of the Day still wears hers as of the publication of the fabulous book Headwraps by Georgia Scott in 2003.  (This is a wonderful book, btw, which I found at my local library and have been tempted to steal.  I think I’ll just buy a copy instead so Ms. Scott gets paid her well-earned royalties.)

Anyway, the history Ms. Scott outlines in her book of headwraps on Martinique is fascinating in itself, but the madras turban evolved into a method of determining a woman’s marital status.  One “point” on a turban (a point is a knotted tie arranged to stick up in the air) indicates a woman is single.  Two points means she is spoken for but another man is welcome to try to steal her heart.  Three points means her heart belongs to one man and cannot be swayed.  The woman wearing the three-point madras  in my sketch has been happily married for over 30 years and I find both her exuberance and her continuation of a dying madras tradition to be inspiring!

three-pointed madras turban, Martinique, 2003

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