Heritage items of the week: busby hat & drum major mace

(f)2006.034 (f)2003.033 (f)2003.033m

These photos show a busby hat and a drum major mace. Busby is the English name for the Hungarian prémes csákó (“fur shako”) or kucsma, a military head-dress made of fur, originally worn by Hungarian hussars. In its original Hungarian form the busby was a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top.  The end of this bag was attached to the right shoulder as a defense against sabre cuts. A drum major is the leader of a pipe band, usually positioned at the head of the band or corps. The drum major is responsible for providing commands to the ensemble, and leads them while marching, and directs them what to play, when to play, and what time to keep. The commands may be given either verbally, through hand gestures, using a whistle or with a mace in the military. If you know more about these objects that would be useful for our catalogue, contact the museum on 0800 111 323 or museum@stdc.govt.nz, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Heritage Collection reference  2006.034.1 (busby) and 2003.033.1 (drum major mace).

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