Yesterday, at Malchijah's Hats on Atlantic Avenue in Crown Heights, they were busy designing fancy head ware that will top off many of the most dashing outfits in Brooklyn on Easter morning.
Easter is a special day for dressing up at many churches. It is a day of polished shoes, pressed clothes, new dresses – and Easter bonnets. The custom made hats from milliner Marcus Malchijah will rise with the hymns like suns, birds, and the towers of Heaven with their bedazzling silver, gold, black and red ribbons, white and pink feathers and golden flowers made with gold threads. Eyes will glance from one side to the other side of the sanctuary to check out the dramatic entrance of Easter joy on faces under such crowns.
Easter hats remind Malchijah of the holiday tradition of flying kites on Easter morning along the river shores in his homeland of Guyana. The kites are made up of vivid colors and can be so large that if one is not careful they will along drag young children as they fly.
For Malchijah, Easter bonnets show this quality of rising up brilliantly to mark the day that Jesus Christ arose from the day. He says, “Easter has to do with ascension, and on Easter back home kite flying is huge.” He says that it is not so easy to fly kites in New York City so “in the big city bonnets take the place.”
The milliner first started making hats at a very low moment in his life. His son, whom he named Malchijah after a priest in the Bible, died. He must have wondered about the meaning of his son’s name which is “God is my king.” Finding spiritual solace, he felt affirmed that God still cared for him and decided to exchange his last name of Kilkenny for Malchijah. His name and new craft was “a gift that was bestowed after the loss of my son,” the hat maker said.
942 Atlantic Ave (between Washington & Grand)
Brooklyn, New York 11238
For Easter Hats in Harlem see Harlem's Heaven
Easter Hats & Easter Kites. Click "i" for more info.
Easter Hats shown at Malchijah's Hats last week. Easter Kites flown in Guyana, Sunday, April 1, 2012.
[img src=http://www.nycreligion.info/wp-content/flagallery/hats/thumbs/thumbs_theowner3edrybrushsmall2.jpg]650Marcus Malchijah
[img src=http://www.nycreligion.info/wp-content/flagallery/hats/thumbs/thumbs_kite7small.jpg]800This Guyanese Easter Kite could you lift you off the ground!
[img src=http://www.nycreligion.info/wp-content/flagallery/hats/thumbs/thumbs_amandarichards2012_4_1e2small.jpg]760Guyanese Easter Kite. April 1, 2012. Amanda Richards/Creative Commons
[img src=http://www.nycreligion.info/wp-content/flagallery/hats/thumbs/thumbs_amandarichards3esmall.jpg]790Guyanese Easter Kite store. April 1, 2012. Amanda Richards/Creative Commons
[img src=http://www.nycreligion.info/wp-content/flagallery/hats/thumbs/thumbs_amandarichards5esmall.jpg]570Guyanese Easter Kites. April 1, 2012. Amanda Richards/Creative Commons