Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Hats (Cap Style)

Hats of the Himalayas

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Cap Style Description (below)
- Black Hats
- Miscellaneous Hats
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

The fourth style is the Cap style hat, and just as caps in the West are generally small and just cover the top of the head, so it is with the Tibetan cap style of hat. The small size and general lack of excessive ornamentation or side flaps are the main characteristics. Caps are the principal head attire of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The most famous cap is the black hat worn by the Karmapa line of teachers. From the time of the 5th Karmapa there were two styles of black hat: a simple traditional hat and and also a very ornate black hat. Other caps of the Karma Kagyu are the red hat of the Shamarpa, followed by the red, orange, and green speckled hats of other ranking teachers. Caps are also worn by Other Kagyu traditions, as do the Nyingma, Sakya and Jonang Traditions, but to a much lesser degree than in the Karma Kagyu tradition.

Cap Style Hat: Karma Kagyu (black, red, orange, green speckled, white), Miscellaneous Traditions

Jeff Watt 8-2012 [updated 6-2017, page added 4-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples).