From the Collection: #NationalHatDay

Today is a day to celebrate hats. And our Everyday Connections collection includes a wide variety of hats from all around the world. Here are six interesting ones from the collection and a little bit about them.

Fez from Morocco

fezThe origins of the fez, or “tarboosh” in Moroccan, is not clear. The design may have come from ancient Greece or the Balkans. In the 19th Century it gained wide acceptance when the Ottoman rulers moved to modernize traditional costumes. The brimless hat did not get in the way of a Muslim’s daily prayers and was cleaner and less cumbersome than the turban. The name fez is believed to come from Fez, the city, which once produced the hat’s red dye, made from crimson berries. The hat has become very controversial in the Muslim world. In most Muslim regions it is considered the hat of the oppressors and wearing it is politically incorrect. Morocco however has resisted the onslaught against the fez (it is noteworthy that the Ottomans never actually controlled Morocco) and the king of Morocco is the only Arab leader to wear it. Wearing a fez in Morocco is a nationalist statement and was seen as a protest against the French occupation. So, like many hats, the fez is a charged symbol with a long and complicated history. (Source)

Fedora from Ecuador

fedoraThe indigenous Incan women who live in Otavalo high in the Andes Mountains north of Quito wear this traditional costume, called “churajuna” in quechua, on a daily basis. Their attire is considered to be the closest to the Inca costume worn anywhere in the Andes Mountains. In addition to their fedora hat, traditional dress for the Otavalo women consists of a long dark skirt with pale underskirt, fastened with a woven belt, an embroidered white blouse with full, lacy sleeves and a shawl. The “skirts”, called “yana anacu”, are actually two separate pieces of cloth with no tailoring at all, simply wrapped around and held in place by the belt. Tiny, detailed embroidery appears along the edges of the cloth. The wide belts are woven in detailed and intricate designs with traditional weaving techniques which have been used in Otavalo for centuries. The traditional white blouses for the women of Otavalo have broad, intricately-embroidered collars and sleeves. Traditionally all the embroidery would be done by hand, though these days some is done by machine.

Trenker from Germany

The trenker is a variant on the tyrolean hat, a traditional bavarian hat that originally came from the Tyrol in the Alps, in what is now part of Austria and Italy. This version with a grey felt with dark green cord is called the “Luis Trenker” model by Bavarians – after the renowned mountain climber and film star. A typical Tyrolean hat originally had a crown tapering to a point and was made of green felt with a brim roughly the width of a hand, something that was especially common in the Zillertal. There are various forms of Tyrolean hat. Frequently the hats are decorated with a colored, corded hatband and a spray of flowers, feathers or “brush” at the side of the crown. The traditional “brush” is made of the tail of the chamois goat. It takes a variety of forms, and may often be combined with feathers. (Source)

“Charro Sombrero” from Mexico

Charro is a term referring to a traditional horseman from Mexico, originating in the central-western regions primarily in the state of Jalisco. Sombreros, like the cowboy hats invented later, were designed in response to the demands of the physical environment. The concept of a broad-brimmed hat worn by a rider on horseback can be seen as far back as the Mongolian horsemen of the 13th century. In hot, sunny climates hats evolved to have wide brims, which provided shade. The Spanish developed a flat-topped sombrero, which they brought to Mexico. It was modified by the vaquero into the round-crowned Mexican sombrero and poblano. Although sombrero is usually taken to refer to the traditional Mexican headwear, the term sombrero predates this item of clothing, and is and has been applied to several differing styles of hat, since it is the actual word for hat in Spanish. Other types of hats known as sombrero can be found in South America and Spain, including the sombrero calañés, sombrero cordobés and sombrero de catite (Spain), sombrero vueltiao (Colombia). (Source)

Blangkon from Indonesia

A blangkon is a traditional Javanese headdress worn by men and made of batik fabric. In ancient Javanese society, blangkons are believed to originate from the legendary story of Aji Saka. In the story, Aji Saka defeated Dewata Cengkar, a giant who owns the land of Java, by spreading a giant piece of headdress that could cover the entire land of Java. Aji Saka was also believed to be the founder of the Javanese calendar. There are theories stating that the use of blangkon is the influence of Hindu and Islamic culture absorbed by the Javanese. The first Muslims who entered Java are people from mainland Arab and Gujarati traders. Blangkons are believed to derive from turbans worn by Gujarati traders. (Source)

Samurai Kabuto from Japan

The Kabuto is a type of helmet first used by ancient Japanese warriors, and in later periods, they became an important part of the traditional Japanese armor worn by the samurai class and their retainers in feudal Japan.The kabuto was an important part of the equipment of the samurai, and played a symbolic role as well, which may explain the Japanese expressions, sayings and codes related to them. One example is Katte kabuto no o o shimeyo (lit. “Tighten the string of the kabuto after winning the war”). This means don’t lower your efforts after succeeding (compare to “not to rest on one’s laurels”). Also, kabuto o nugu (lit. “to take off the kabuto”) means to surrender.

This entry was posted in Everyday Connections and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.