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Pointed hats have been a distinctive item of headgear
Headgear
Headgear, headwear or headdress is the name given to any element of clothing which is worn on one's head.Headgear serve a variety of purposes:...

  of a wide range of cultures throughout history. Though often suggesting an ancient Indo-European
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

 tradition, they were also traditionally worn by women of Lapland, the Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

, the Mi'kmaq people of Atlantic Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the Huastecs of Veracruz and Aztec (illustrated e.g. in Codex Mendoza
Codex Mendoza
The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec codex, created about twenty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico with the intent that it be seen by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain...

). The Kabiri of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 have the diba, a pointed hat glued together.

Bronze Age


The conical golden hat
Golden hat
Golden hats are a very specific and rare type of archaeological artefact from Bronze Age Central Europe. So far, four such objects are known...

s of Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 were probably a ceremonial accessory worn by the priesthood. See also horned helmet
Horned helmet
European Bronze Age and Iron Age helmets with horns are known from a few depictions, and even fewer actual finds. Such helmets mounted with animal horns or replicas of them were probably used for religious ceremonial or ritual purposes.-Prehistoric Europe:...

.

Iron Age


Textile analysis of the Tarim Mummies
Tarim mummies
The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, which date from 1900 BC to 200 AD. Some of the mummies are frequently associated with the presence of the Indo-European Tocharian languages in the Tarim Basin, although the evidence is not...

 has shown some similarities to the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 civilizations of Europe dating from 800 BC, including woven twill
Twill
Twill is a type of textile weave with a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs . This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a "step" or offset between rows to create the characteristic diagonal pattern. Because of this...

 and tartan
Tartan
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns...

 patterns strikingly similar to tartans from Northern Europe. One unusual find was a distinctively pointed hat:
Yet another female - her skeleton found beside the remains of a man - still wore a terrifically tall, conical hat just like those we depict on witches riding broomsticks at Halloween or on medieval wizards intent at their magical spells. (Barber 1999:200)


Pointed hats were also worn in ancient times by Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

 (Scythians), and are shown on Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 temples and in Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 relief
Relief
Relief is a sculptural technique. The term relief is from the Latin verb levo, to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is thus to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane...

s. The name of the Scythian tribe of the tigrakhauda (Orthocorybantians
Orthocorybantians
The Orthocorybantians were a tribe of the Scythians. They were settling in the tenth satrapy of Achaemenid Persia . A delegation of Orthocorybantians paying tribute is depicted on the Apadana relief....

) is a bahuvrihi
Bahuvrihi
A bahuvrihi compound is a type of compound that denotes a referent by specifying a certain characteristic or quality the referent possesses. A bahuvrihi is exocentric, so that the compound is not a hyponym of its head...

 compound literally translating to "people with pointed hats".

The Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central European culture from the 8th to 6th centuries BC , developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BC and followed in much of Central Europe by the La Tène culture.By the 6th century BC, the Hallstatt culture extended for some...

 Warrior of Hirschlanden
Warrior of Hirschlanden
The Warrior of Hirschlanden is a statue of a nude ithyphallic warrior made of sandstone, the oldest known Iron Age life-size anthropomorphic statue north of the Alps. It was a production of the Hallstatt culture, probably dating to the 6th century BC...

 wears a pointed hat or helmet.

Hephaestus
Hephaestus
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes...

, the Cabeiri
Cabeiri
In Greek mythology, the Cabeiri, were a group of enigmatic chthonic deities. They were worshiped in a mystery cult closely associated with that of Hephaestus, centered in the north Aegean islands of Lemnos and possibly Samothrace —at the Samothrace temple complex— and at Thebes...

 as well as Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

 are traditionally pictured wearing a Pilos, or woolen conical hat.

Middle Ages



The 9th century Cumans
Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 are reported to have fought wearing pointed hats.

Originating from the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, the kazaori eboshi (風折烏帽子) was worn by aristocrats to indicate rank. Still worn today for ceremonial purposes, this black, linen hat is used during a Samurai's ceremony in attaining manhood.

The Papal tiara
Papal Tiara
The Papal Tiara, also known incorrectly as the Triple Tiara, or in Latin as the Triregnum, in Italian as the Triregno and as the Trirègne in French, is the three-tiered jewelled papal crown, supposedly of Byzantine and Persian origin, that is a prominent symbol of the papacy...

 in the Middle Ages is sometimes shown as more pointed than in more recent centuries, though also shown with no point. Mitra papalis
Mitra papalis
Mitra papalis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mitridae, the miters....

is a type of conch
Conch
A conch is a common name which is applied to a number of different species of medium-sized to large sea snails or their shells, generally those which are large and have a high spire and a siphonal canal....

 named after the papal mitre for its form.

Following the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, Jews were forced to wear distinctive clothing. This included the pointed Jewish hat (or "Judenhut") already worn by Jews, a piece of clothing probably imported from the Islamic world and perhaps before that from Persia.

Popular among Burgundian noblewomen in the 15th century was a type of conical headgear now called a hennin
Hennin
The hennin was a headdress in the shape of a cone or "steeple", or truncated cone worn in the late Middle Ages by European women of the nobility. They were most common in Burgundy and France, but also elsewhere, especially at the English courts, and in Northern Europe, Hungary and Poland. They...

.

The whirling dervishes from the 13th century wore hats similar to the hennins, and the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Janissaries
Janissary
The Janissaries were infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguards...

 wore similar headgear to show their veneration for Hadji Bektash, founder of a Sufi order.

Conical hats were also popular in late medieval Vijayanagar
Vijayanagara Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire , referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South Indian in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

The term dunce cap
Dunce cap
A dunce cap, also variously known as a dunce hat, dunce's cap, or dunce's hat, is a pointed hat. In popular culture, it is typically made of paper and often marked with a D or the word "dunce", and given to schoolchildren to wear as punishment by public humiliation for misbehavior and, as the name...

is only attested from 1840, but according to Cecil Adams
Cecil Adams
Cecil Adams is a name, possibly a pseudonym, designating the American author of The Straight Dope, a popular question and answer column published in The Chicago Reader since 1973. Ed Zotti is Adams' current editor....

, 14th century theologian
John Duns Scotus recommended the wearing of conical hats to stimulate learning.

Modern times



The Spitzhut is a traditional kind of headgear in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

.

Pointed hood
Hood (headgear)
A hood is a kind of headgear that covers most of the head and neck and sometimes the face. They may be worn for protection from the environment, for fashion, as a form of traditional dress or uniform, to prevent the wearer from seeing or to prevent the wearer from being identified.-History and...

s were used by various secret orders and Catholic lay confraternities for processions, e.g. the Semana Santa of Sevilla who wore the Capirote
Capirote
A capirote is a pointy hat of conical form that is used in Spain.Historically, the capirote was a cardboard cone that flagellants in Spain would use...

. These were later adopted by the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

.

The term Pointed Hat was used as a derogatory term towards the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and the Papal Tiara
Papal Tiara
The Papal Tiara, also known incorrectly as the Triple Tiara, or in Latin as the Triregnum, in Italian as the Triregno and as the Trirègne in French, is the three-tiered jewelled papal crown, supposedly of Byzantine and Persian origin, that is a prominent symbol of the papacy...

. The term has lost its notoriety after the Vatican II discontinued the tradition of wearing the papal tiara.

Pointed hats are still worn in the rural Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

 celebrations by the Cajuns, the Courir de Mardi Gras
Courir de Mardi Gras
The Courir de Mardi Gras is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still...

, where they are known as capuchon
Capuchon
A capuchon is a cone-shaped ceremonial hat worn during the Mardi Gras celebration in the Cajun areas of southwestern Louisiana, known as the Courir de Mardi Gras. The rural celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still celebrated by mummers, wassailers and celebrants of...

s.

Folklore and fiction



Classical pointed hats are worn by the dwarfs, witches and wizard
Magician (fantasy)
A magician, mage, sorcerer, sorceress, wizard, enchanter, enchantress, thaumaturge or a person known under one of many other possible terms is someone who uses or practices magic that derives from supernatural or occult sources...

s of European myth.
Also seen on: Garden gnomes, Smurfs, Gandalf
Gandalf
Gandalf is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In these stories, Gandalf appears as a wizard, member and later the head of the order known as the Istari, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West...

, Merlin, Link.

History


Existence of the conical hat is known as early as the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 in Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. One example is the golden hat
Golden hat
Golden hats are a very specific and rare type of archaeological artefact from Bronze Age Central Europe. So far, four such objects are known...

 worn by members of the priesthood, likely as a ceremonial accessory. In Ancient Greece, the pilos was a common conical travelling hat. Popular among Burgundian noblewomen in the 15th century was a type of conical headgear now called a hennin
Hennin
The hennin was a headdress in the shape of a cone or "steeple", or truncated cone worn in the late Middle Ages by European women of the nobility. They were most common in Burgundy and France, but also elsewhere, especially at the English courts, and in Northern Europe, Hungary and Poland. They...

. Conical hats were also popular in late medieval Vijayanagar
Vijayanagara Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire , referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South Indian in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

Golden hat



This type of hat is a very specific and rare type of archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 artifact
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 from Bronze Age
Bronze Age Europe
The European Bronze Age is characterized by bronze artifacts and the use of bronze implements. The regional Bronze Age succeeds the Neolithic, it starts with the Aegean Bronze Age 3200 BC...

 Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

.

Capuchon



A capuchon is a ceremonial hat worn during the Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

 celebration in the Cajun
Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

 areas of southwestern Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, known as the Courir de Mardi Gras
Courir de Mardi Gras
The Courir de Mardi Gras is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still...

.

Party hat



A party hat is generally a playful conical hat made with a rolled up piece of thin cardboard, usually with designs printed on the outside and a long string of elastic going from one side of the cone's bottom to another to secure the cone to one's head.

Capirote



Historically, the capirote was a cardboard cone that flagellants in Spain would use. It was also used during capital punishment in Spain, and also during an Inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

, where the condemned person would be forced to wear one and be put under public humiliation.

Jewish hat



The Jewish hat was often white or yellow, worn by Jews in Medieval Europe and some of the Islamic world.

Dunce cap



In popular culture, the dunce cap is typically made of paper and often marked with a D or the word "dunce
Dunce
A dunce is a person incapable of learning.The word is derived from the name of the great Scholastic theologian and philosopher John Duns Scotus, also referred to as Doctor Subtillis, or "Subtle Doctor", whose works on logic, theology and philosophy were accepted textbooks in the universities from...

", and given to schoolchildren to wear as punishment by public humiliation
Public humiliation
Public humiliation was often used by local communities to punish minor and petty criminals before the age of large, modern prisons .- Shameful exposure :...

 for misbehaviour and, as the name implies, stupidity
Stupidity
Stupidity is a lack of intelligence, understanding, reason, wit, or sense. It may be innate, assumed, or reactive - 'being "stupid with grief" as a defence against trauma', a state marked with 'grief and despair...making even simple daily tasks a hardship'....

.

Conical Asian hat



Known as a sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat or coolie hat, this simple style of hat is often made of straw. It originated in East and Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea, Cambodia, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Hennin



Most commonly worn in Burgundy and France by women of the nobility, the hennin appears from about 1430 onwards. Later, though, this hat spread more widely, especially in the truncated form. Typically, the hennin was 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) high, generally accompanied by a veil that usually emerged from the top of the cone and was allowed to fall onto the woman's shoulders.

Tantour




Similar to the hennin, this woman's headdress was popular in the Eastern Mediterranean during the 19th century. The most splendid tantours made of gold reaching as high as 30 inches. Some were encrusted with gems and pearls. The tantour was held in by a ribbons tied around the head. A silk scarf was wound around the base with a white veil attached to the peak.

Phrygian cap



The Phrygian cap is a soft cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia
Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

, a region of central Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, and in modern times with Smurfs.

Pileus



Predecessor to the Phrygian cap, the pileus was, in Ancient Greece and Rome, a brimless, felt cap, somewhat similar to a fez.

Sugar loaf


This very tall, tapering hat was first worn in medieval times. Its name comes from the loaves into which sugar was formed at that time. The sugar loaf hat is the stereotypical pointed black hat worn by witches.

External links