Hakka “cool hat” (客家凉帽)

picture taken from ZHKJW.net

For the Hakkas, the Hakka woman wear a special unique cool hat . These hats
are weave usually from thin wheat stalks and straw. Except for the front
side, the the hat is surrounded by  a cloth of around 16cm height well distributed
throughout. The thin cloth come in colors of black, blue and white, some
are even adorned with flowery motifs. When viewed from afar, these hats
resembles stalks of beautiful wild flower. In significance, unmarried young
ladies tend to sew coloured ribbons at the extreme ends of the cloth. Thus,
this came a symbol whether one hakka lady is married. As this type of hat
is capable of blocking the sun and provides a better shelter, the Hakka
have used to call it “liang li li” (凉笠哩)

It is said that, the Hakka woman’s cool hat has 1000 years of history. It
is dated from the last years of Jin Dynasty, in order to escape from the
foreign invaders,
the people of the central plains migrated to the south . They reside in
southern china, places like Jiang Xi , Fujian as well as Guangdong region
of desolated mountainous area. In the north, where they came from, the men
will plough while the ladies sew, however, as they moved southern, these
traditional gender type life styles have changed. But, the morals and manners
of ladies not exposing their face in the public still exists. So the women
of the central plains thought of the idea of using the existing bamboo
hats from the working men and covered it with long  black cloth (to cover
their faces) and having two holes for vision. However, It soon became much
of a hassle. The cloth is removed ,instead it is sew  at the hat rim’s. And
after a while, the frontal side of the cloth is shortened and like this evolved
into today’s Hakka’s cool hat.

picture from http://www.ccots.com.cn/

info translated from http://zhidao.baidu.com on 客家凉帽与服饰文化

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