Nón lá

The conical Asian hat, sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat, and sometimes known by the term coolie hat, although many people consider this term to be offensive,[1] is a simple style of conical hat originating in East, South Asia and Southeast Asia, particularly China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, India and Vietnam. It is kept on the head by a cloth (often silk) chin strap; an internal band of the same material keeps the hat itself from resting on the wearer's head. This style of hat is used primarily as protection from the sun and rain. When made of straw or matting, it can be dipped in water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device.[2]

In Asia and Australia

Because of its distinctive shape, it is often used in the depiction of East Asians. Recently, as part of international one day cricket matches in Australia, the conical hat has been a fashion phenomenon amongst spectators, with many decorated in Australian green and gold livery. Given that spectators are exposed for long periods in direct sunlight, the conical hat is a logical sunsafe device.

In mainland China and Taiwan, it is called dǒulì (斗笠; literally, a one-dǒu bamboo hat, 笠帽, 竹笠). In Japan, the hat is called sugegasa (菅笠?). In Indonesia, the hat is called caping, and in Korea it is called satgat (삿갓) and mostly worn by farmers and Buddhist monks;[3] in the Philippines, the name is salakot or saklat worn by farmers and nobles crafted with jewels or made of turtle shells and an addition of sharp pike on top. In Cambodia, that hat is called do'un.

Nón lá (Vietnamese style)

In Vietnam, the name is nón lá (leaf hat). Images of it were embossed on Ngoc Lu drums about 2500 to 3000 years ago. Among conical hats, the nón lá of the Vietnamese forms a perfect right circular cone which tapers smoothly from the base to the apex. Nón lá are notable for their romantic and timelessly crafted adornments. Special conical hats in Vietnam contain colourful hand-stitch depictions or words while the Huế varieties are famous for their nón bài thơ (literally: poem conical hats). These contain random poetic verses and Hán tự which can be revealed when the hat is directed above one's head in the sunlight. Now, it is becoming a part of national costume of Vietnam.

The Assamese Jaapi has a slightly similar look and is believed to be of similar origin.

See also


External links

  • Conical straw hats gallery


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