21.5” circumference x 6” diameter x 5.25” high (when folded)
Silk(?) hand-embroidery on cotton with a highly polished hard surface
Black silk(?) woven border around rim
Printed cotton hand-stitched lining
Designed to fold into a flat triangle for ease of carrying
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 140
The ubiquitous square black skullcap worn mainly by men and boys throughout Uzbekistan originated in the city od Chust, located in the Ferghana Valley. It is characterized by four highly stylized “kalampir” (capsicum peppers). The intense heat of the peppers was thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits. The crown of the hat was encircled by a border of arches which some say symbolize gates through which no enemy can pass.
The pattern varies by region, yet it has remained basically the same since it first gained popularity in the 1920s. The surface of the black cotton on this hat has been finished in such a way that it looks and feels like fine leather.
The archival photograph is by the famous Russian photographer Max Penson. It was taken in Uzbekistan in the 1930s-40s.
If you are interested in this hat and would like more information please contact Susan Meller.