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The BWANA arrives! - First pics.

Discussion in 'Hats' started by MDFrench, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Hey all,

    After almost a year of research by many members of this board, including Sharpetoys, BellyTank and Art Fawcett amongst many others, the first Bwana safari hat has finally come out of Art's shop of wonders.

    This hat is the result of a search for a seemingly odd, double-brimmed safari hat worn by Stewart Granger in the 1950 version of King Solomon's Mines. Oddly enough these hats can also be seen in early jungle films like the Tarzan movies and Trader Horn, both the 1931 and 1970s version.

    Anyway, here is the first look out of the box after a little hand massaging. The hat is a smidge too tight, but Art and I are working to correct that with a little outpatient surgery. I have also found that having a hat with two brims, and hence, a double-layered sweatband makes for a very different wear experience. It will take more time to make this hat pliable in that regard, so in the short term - I'm getting used to it - but in the long term I have a feeling this will be the most durable felt hat I will ever own.

    Here it is - I apologize for the dirty mirror...and the ugly mug under the hat.

  2. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

    Metropolitan New Orleans
    Awesome piece. Enjoy it!!!
  3. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Acton, Massachusetts
    That hat is dead on. It looks like you snatched it off Mr. Granger's head.
    Enjoy it.:)
  4. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Great Northwest
    It looks great, but now you need a pipe.


  5. Magus

    Magus Practically Family

    Southern California
    Interesting hat....what praytell is the purpose of the two brim construction...other than general hipness at being unique?
  6. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

    The Island of Misfit Hats
    Sweeeeet. Art did a wonderful job on that hat!
  7. Fedora

    Fedora Vendor

    :cheers1: What a great replica!!! Art, an amazing job!! Now, I need to find out how you did the double brim and make myself one. Is that felt from our feltmaker?? :) Fedora
  8. Kaleponi Craig

    Kaleponi Craig A-List Customer

    Just North of San Francisco
    Beautiful lid. Now you are ready for a safari!...KC
  9. Mycroft

    Mycroft One Too Many

    Florida, U.S.A. for now
    Allen Quaterman I presume

    Great hat, hows the weight of it? Heavy on your head? It looks on the heavy side, anyhow now you need a good safari jacket and elephant gun.
  10. Adventure has a new name!

    Wow and congradulations!
    That is a killer hat to be sure, you look sharp in that one.
    Art works his magic once more!

  11. budward

    budward One of the Regulars

    Dallas, TX
    Art is the artist. But I second Magus's question about why 2 brims? Anybody got an informed opinion?

  12. Mr_Misanthropy

    Mr_Misanthropy Practically Family

    Chicago, Illinois
    Great hat! Very unique! I've always loved those old jungle movie get ups. Now, what do you planning on wearing with it, and where to? The Amazon? :cool2:
  13. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Well- I must say it's been worth the wait.

    You actually look more than a little like Mr. Grainger in that first shot.

  14. Thanks guys - though the compliments should really go to the three I mentioned in my post - the researchers, Sharpe' and BT, and the artist, Art, - I was just the fanboy with the obsession.

    I'm hoping to go to Africa sometime when all the unrest settles down (relatively anyway) and I plan on wearing it with some traditional khakis and hiking boots, though I could use some suggestions on the footwear - Aldens are all I have with the vintage look and I don't think they'd be the right thing for the serengetti.

    Is it heavy? Yeah, a little more than say, the AB I have. Also, as I said above, the double-layered sweat band area makes it more resistant at first to your head, but after only two days of massage therapy and a little TLC with the Thompson Hat Stretcher, it's breaking in nicely. Again, mine is a smidge too tight, but I think that will work itself out in time, especially after that wooden stretcher Art is sending arrives.

    As for the rest of Granger's outfit from the film, it's actuallt fairly nondescript - a khaki hunters shirt with that half-button down thing going on and loops for his hunting rounds. His pants look like baggy khakis, though he doesn't wear a pants belt of any kind, which I found strange. I'll post some screen grabs soon of his odd diggs. In one scene he wears a black gunbelt and in another camp scene he has on what appears to be a traditional safari jacket like the ones for sale at USWings.

    Time will work the rest of that out. I think the hard part is over though...thanks to you know who.
  15. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Hardlucksville, NY
    That is just a beautiful hat.
    All you need is a .416 Rigby and a charging lion to complete the picture! ;)
  16. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson One of the Regulars

    I love this entire "reproducing a movie look" thing! It has a lot of charm. Another odd thing I notice about Stewart Granger's hat in the film is that the pungaree band is clipped in the front, instead of the side, as usual. stranger and stranger.
    and, while we're on the move look subject: I would love to reproduce Clark Gable's look in "It Happened One Night"...the (probably brown) fedora and 30's high waisted, belt back, cargo pocket two button suit. um.
  17. K.D. Lightner

    K.D. Lightner Call Me a Cab

    Des Moines, IA
    Awesome hat! You look like the Bwana man himself.

    We want to see a photo when you get the whole African esemble together.

  18. macawber

    macawber Familiar Face

    Canberra Australia
    Double Terai hat

    Interesting hat....what praytell is the purpose of the two brim construction...other than general hipness at being unique?

    During the time of the British empire, sportsmen on shikar in India would wear a double felt hat called the "double terai hat". At that time they believed a double felt hat was the way to protect oneself from the tropical sun. People wore this style of hat throughout the tropical areas of empire.
  19. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    ...makes sense...

    Hi Macawber!

    I heard that term recently actually- thanks for jolting me.

    I think you're on to something there- you've solved tha conundrum- well done! -the Double Terai is no doubt the origin of the double crown/brim Colonial slouch hat- given the era and location- Colonials and all.

    We were discussing all the possible reasons for the double construction in the original thread.

    One source mantioned that the Ghukas used the double brim on theri slouch hats, for the purpose of keeping the 'razor sharp' profile of the slouch hat's brim- Regimental pride and all.
    Another was that the hat would keep its shape and hold up to constant wetting and drying... another was as head protection from falling jungle objects(coconuts?)

    But yes- the Raj/Colonial lot were obsessed with sun protection and had all kinds of bogus ideas- like the spine protector- a padded covering to wear on your back... avoid sun-stroke (keep you warm at least)

    They also thought that the colour 'red' would protect one from the sun- hence red hat linings...(and the spine protector)

    On the topic of Tropical head-dress; the Pith Helmet is sometimes referred to (especially in Hindi, or in Country) as a Sola Topee- not SolAR Topee.

    A topee/topi is a hat(in Hindi) and Sola is a (pithy)plant from which the pith comes. The Vietnamese Pith Helmet uses a different plant material.
    Cork was often used.

    The confusion between Sola and Solar is easily understandable, considering they sound all but the same.

    I'm a big Slouch hat fan.

    Well done Cobber!

    Old Trader Horn likes this.
  20. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Just a note on Pugarees...

    It was quite normal for Colonial head-wear to have the 'V' in front(although they are seen on the side too)- look at some Slouch hats and Pith Helmets in Military use. The Pug' on the military hats is differently constructed from what you see on a Panama hat. The ones used by the British Colonials in India and Africa were intended to immitate or reflect a 'real' Pugaree- the type of Turban worn in various regions of India but particularly notable as being worn by the Sikhs.

    You'll note that the way a true Pug' is wrapped and tied- the crossing-over of the 'pleating' is in front.


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