Work, as much as family, is the meaning of life. For some, work is sewing beads onto fabric in elaborate patterns so others can parade in public in wonderful grandeur. In Latin America, such people who sew such things are Bardados. I've met three such people now in Peru, and others in different nations, all of them mad as hatters. I would guess that is co-incidence.
When I see parades and look at the costumes and banners people have, I think of the men and women who sit for uninterrupted hours and days stitching and sewing and gluing bits of stuff to fabric, to sheets and shoes and wood and plastic, who must go blind early, who seem to go strange in the mind from so much solitude. But, assuming others value the work if not the maker, such things will last for a long time, longer, I would guess, than the makers themselves.
I'm a hat guy, myself, mostly because I use a hat to keep the weather off my head so I don't go baked and loony. But beyond that I think of hats as making the man into a public figure among men, a man wearing his identity for all to see in wearing a hat of a certain style.
See also: http://nodhimmitude.blogspot.
A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:
And here are some reviews and comments on said book: