The Tibetan Hat: A Concentrated Point of Tibetan Culture
The Tibetan Hat, called as Xia Hat in Tibetan language, has a wide range of different styles. Taking the Ci-Ren-Jin-Ke Hat which is the most common seen as an example, the techniques of making it are quite fine. Being divided into “Winter Hat” and “Summer Hat”, the Tibetan hats can also be divided into 5 other categories, such as “Normal Hat”, “Official Hat”, “Monk Hat”, “Artist Hat” and “Military Hat”.
Due to a cold climate, Tibetan men are always wear hats which made of fox furs, felts and leathers, with two colored ribbons back. Tibetan women are usually not wearing a hat, only wrap up a brightly colored scarf on their heads.
Ci-Ren-Jin-Ke Hat is the most famous one among the various Tibetan hats, which has a unique ethnic characteristic on the styles and colors. The lining of Ci-Ren-Jin-Ke Hat is made of felts; the top of the hat is sewed with raw silks; there are four brims made of otters’ furs or cony hair. The way of wearing one’s hat is quite particular: women need to make two large brims folded into the hat, leaving only the left and right along the brow; men need to make the hats a little oblique, young men in general need to make the back brim folded into the hat and elders need to make all the brims outside.
The felt hat is the most ancient Tibetan hat. White Annals (in Tibetan language as deb ther dkar po), which records the early history of Tibet, has mentioned that the ancient Tibetan has wear the felt hat. Up to now, some regions of Gansu and Qinghai Province still wear this kind of hat. The hat has a double function: reflecting sunlight and keeping out rain as well as keeping warm.
Ge-Sang-Si-You Hat is a kind of hat which Tibetan women wearing in the summer. It makes four chopsticks or bamboos as a skeleton, with black cloth inlaid figured satin or silk fabric sewing, extending brims to shade their foreheads.
In addition to the hats mentioned above, there are some other styles of Tibetan hats, such as lambskin hats, golden hats, straw hats and so on. With a wide variety, Tibetan hats have gorgeous rich and elegant materials like Tibetan costumes. It can also reflect the wearers’ aesthetic tastes, regional characteristics and professions.
In East Tibet, people are pleased to wear leather hats, which are made of a whole piece of fox furs in Tibetan areas. Allegedly, in the ancient times, there was a law in Tibet that those who ran away and were captured during the war, had to put on fox fur hats with a trailing tail and accepted the rebuke of their peers. There was no doubt that who wears a leather hat would be a shame at that time.
Around the 17th century, the Tibet king annulled this Law, yet wearing leather hats is handed down. Nowadays, almost every Tibetan people has a beloved leather hat which is made of fox furs.
Tibetan hat is a concentrated point of Tibetan culture.