Ladies of the Orient (LOTO)

The LOTO were originally a social appendant body to the Daughters of Rebekah, the women’s auxiliary to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. More recently, the group has opened itself up to all women over the age of 18 who believe in a Supreme Being, but the membership remains primarily composed of women associated with the Rebekahs or Odd Fellows. The group meets in a “Zuanna” and is presided over by the “Great Ashayhi.” The letter “Z” on the fez refers to the term Zuanna. There is a far more complex system of tassels in LOTO than in AMOS or most other fez-wearing groups, with almost every officer having a unique color or color combination. As with many Odd Fellows related groups, this organization has suffered from low membership in recent years, but a new Zuanna was established in California in 2015 (the first in roughly 25 years to be active in that state.)

This fez was purchased by the museum at auction and was quite the enigma! However, we received information from another fez collector, Tyler Anderson of New Mexico, who was able to identify it as belonging to the Ladies of the Orient. The fez is also unique in that it is cut in the back, so that the size could be adjusted. This is the only fez like this in the entire collection. The purple tassel denotes that the wearer is a Past Ashayhi of a Zuanna.

Being of similar nature to the previous fez, this hat comes from Zaza Zuanna No. 89, of Portland, Maine. We haven’t found many records from this group, but believe the hat to be from the mid 20th Century. 

Again, the purple tassel denotes a Past Ashayhi.

This fez was added to the collection because of its light blue tassel, which designates the wearer as a “Queen Ashayhi,” the second in command of a Zuanna. The owner’s home Zuanna was Lotus No. 44, of Hartford, CT, which is now defunct. The fez is in good condition, probaby dating from the mid twentieth century. 

As the hat suggests, this fez comes from Kweilin Zuanna No. 88 in Dayton, Ohio. This is a basic members fez, which is denoted by the yellow tassel. The fez also had a jewel attached mentioning the Supreme Degree. Much like the Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans, the Ladies of the Orient conferred a degree on veteran members. Simply known as the “Supreme Degree,” it was given at large regional or national meetings.

This fez is another fine example of a basic LOTO member’s fez. The body is the traditional white felt, with. yellow thread stitching. The logo is rendered in multiple parts on the center, with a patch of fabric. The text denotes that it comes from Ahura Zuanna No. 28 of Toledo, Ohio. Given the style and condition, this is thought to be a slightly earlier piece, perhaps from the 20’s to the 40’s. 

In 2016, the Ladies of the Orient experienced a rebirth, with renewed interest in their organization. In response to this, the Order found themselves in need of fezzes. Due to their small numbers, most manufacturers were not interested in assisting them. However, Fez-o-Rama stepped up to the plate and provided an updated look and feel to the traditional design. This fez is one of the new models, now being adopted across the organization. The owner hails from Inanna Zuanna No. 9, of Califonia. 

Ladies of the Muscovites

The Imperial Order of Muscovites remains one of the most elusive and interesting fraternal bodies covered by this Museum. Even more elusive, however, is information and regalia from their ladies auxiliary, sometimes refered to as the Lady Muscovites / Ladies of the Muscovites / Ladies of the Muscovees. Outside of small acounts offered by archived newspapers, we know very little about the organization and operation of the group. The funniest story found to date recalls how a reporter tried to gain admission into a meeting of the Lady Muscovites and was summarily hazed and ridiculed by the ladies until he left.

The fez, as shown here, is of orange felt – a very unusual color to be sure. Like the regular Muscovites fez, it has wooly band around the bottom with the name of the local group embroidered in bullion. In this case, the name is “Rada” which would have been based out of Oregon. The only examples of Lady Muscovites fezzes show Rada, so it is presumed that this was the only operational group that wore these fezzes. The tassel is plain and black. The emblem on the front is an embroidered patch, bearing the logo of the group.