The Luba use headrests to protect the elaborate coiffure that is important to their culture. The coiffure, a tradition seen in many African cultures, represents age, status, and gender and is typically adorned with metal, beads, and charms for spiritual power. In addition to the coiffure, scarification is also an important element in Luba tradition because it represents status and is often done to commemorate a rite of passage. On this headrest, the decorative metal tacks create a raised surface that leaves an imprint on the skin when the user sleeps on their side. These imprints represent the tradition of scarification in Luba culture called ntapo.