Of all of the exhibits in the collection, this one is probably the most controversial. Wikipedia offers an excellent explanation as to why:
“The Nuwaubian Nation or Nuwaubian movement is a religious organization founded and led by Dwight York. York began founding Black Muslim groups in New York in 1967, and has changed his teachings and the names of his groups many times. In the late 1980s, he abandoned the Muslim theology of his movement in favor of Ancient Egypt and extraterrestrial themes, in 1993 leaving Brooklyn for Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, where he built an ancient Egypt-themed compound called Tama-Re.
By 2000, the “United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors” had some 500 adherents, and drew as many as 5,000 visitors attending “Savior’s Day” (York’s birthday). Adherence declined steeply after York was sentenced to 135 years in federal prison in April 2004, and the Tama-Re compound was sold under government forfeiture and demolished in 2005.
The term “Nuwaubu” is found in “The Holy Tablets”, a 1700-page document published by York in 1996, as the term for “the way of life” of “supreme beings”. Nuwaubian teachings are sometimes also referred to as Nuwaubu/Nuwaupu, Wu-Nuwaubu, “Right Knowledge”, “Sound Right Reasoning”, “Overstanding”, “Blackosophy” or “Factology.” It is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.“
All male members of the Nuwaubian movement are required to wear a fez at specific times. We have very little knowledge on the specific uses of the fez by this group, or how colors or gradations may be used. Fezzes vary in design, but are most often found in black and red / maroon. Designs usually contain crescent moons, ankhs, and other Egyptian symbols.
This fez is very typical of the movement. It was probably produced in the mid to late 1990’s. The design is vaguely a starburst, depicting a crown with black in the center. Under the starburst are two ankh like symbols, or perhaps an Omega – we’re unsure of the specific symbology. The tassel is yellow, as seen on most maroon fezzes from this organization.