Thursday, 11 October 2018

From 19th-Century India To Melania Trump - How Pith Helmets Hecame A Symbol Of Colonialism.

Name a figure whose name is synonymous with colonial empire, and you can probably find a vintage photograph or hand-drawn illustration of them in a khaki safari suit and pith helmet. 

In fact, during the 19th century, pith helmets were worn by colonial officials, soldiers, explorers and missionaries so frequently that they “came to visually epitomize the 19th-century age of imperialism in world history,” explains an entry in “Hats and Headwear around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia.”
Melania Trump goes on a safari with Nelly Palmeris, Park Manager, at the Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, October 5, 2018.
That may or may not be news to Melania Trump, who was photographed wearing a pith helmet on a Friday visit to Nairobi National Park. After being widely criticized for her choice of headgear, which some saw as a throwbackto Victorian-era racism and oppression, she told reporters on Saturday that she wished people would “focus on what I do, not what I wear.”

She’s not the only first lady to wear one. In 1994, The Washington Post’s Phil McCombs reported that then-first lady Hillary Clinton “appeared in a pith helmet, looking vaguely like a North Vietnamese Army officer” on a visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (Good luck trying to find a picture, though.) ...

Read more at From 19th-Century India To Melania Trump - How Pith Helmets Hecame A Symbol Of Colonialism.

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