Up The Sandbox Samburu African Headdress

Barbra Streisand wore this African headdress for an on location photo shoot by Steve Shapiro, during filming of “Up The Sandbox” (1972). Initially director Irvin Kershner had planned to shoot the African scenes in this film on a backlot at MGM. Barbra suggested shooting on location for more authenticity, and the producers greenlit the trip to Kenya. The Samburu are a Nilotic people of north-central Kenya. They are a sub tribe of the Maasai. Women of the Samburu tribe typically wear two pieces of cloth. One wrapped around their waist and the other around their breast. The distinctive feature of the Samburu is the amount of jewelry, especially colorful multi-beaded bracelets, anklets and necklaces. In the Samburu culture the more necklaces women wear the more they are considered beautiful, and it also identifies their wealth and civil status. 

Barbra’s head dress consisted of an orange spackled scarf, with an attached braided hairpiece sewn into a mohair wig base. The hair has many decorative bead strands braided into it. Two large, circular, tribal hoops are sewn into each side, and two long orange crocheted beaded pieces accent the front. Inside is lined with synthetic fabric. This piece sold at auction in 2004 for $960.00 USD. 

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