Mens' hats

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Fur hat

Felt hat

Small brim felt hat

Straw hat

Maramureş clop

Oaş clop

Năsăud peacock feathers

Felt hat, Sângeorz-băi 1991

Decorated felt hat, Gura Râului 1988

Peacock feathers on felt hat, Cosbuc 1991

Codru hat, Salaj dance group

Oaş hats, Certeze 1990

Boy in clop, Maramures 2002

Narrow brim felt hats, Gura Râului 1998

Sheepskin hats - Căciulă (pl. Căciuli)

Căciulă are worn all over Romania and in most of the surrounding Balkan countries in winter. Fur hats are made by furriers and are most often black, although white căciulă are worn in parts of Banat and grey in central and north Moldavia.

There are four types of căciulă found in Romania.

  1. High conical cap - Căciulă ţuguiată, moţată - This is made of 4 pieces joined together lengthwise. It can be worn peaked, with top bent forward, back or sideways, or with top sunk inwards, depending on local fashion. It is worn in Moldavia, Muntenia, Oltenia and Banat, originally by the "free men". In Munţii Banatului the cap is sometimes worn with fur inside and a narrow white fur hem at base.
  2. Round low cap known as cuşmă rotilată in Maramureş, consisting of 2 parts, a long band forming a cylinder and a round top sewn to the upper edge of the cylinder.
  3. Caps made of a single piece of fur are also found in Maramureş and Oaş. These are made by stretching the raw fur on a spherical wooden shaped block which makes it take the shape of the head. This simple "skull" cap was formally worn by serfs.
  4. Căciulă joasă - cylindrical fur cap with the top larger than the base. This is called "mocănească, rotată, retezată, or turtită and is worn by shepherds on both sides of the southern Carpathians (in Mărginimea Sibiului, Oltenia, Muntenia, and Vrancea, and also in Câmpia Bărăganului and Dobrogea due to this area being used for summer pastures by the Carpathian shepherds, and also in Maramureş.

Felt hats - Pălărie (pl. Pălării) din fetru

Hard felt hats are made by specialised craftsmen in workshops and are worn throughout the year. These hats are found centred on the Saxon regions around Sibiu and Bistriţa and may have been introduced into Transylvania by the Saxons, whose craftsmen made them in workshops, from the 18th century. The style varies widely in shape and size of brim according to area. The wide brimmed hat appeared around 17th-19th Century and felt hats with broad brims up to 60cm were worn in 19th & early 20th century, and continued to be worn in Valea Bistriţei, Moldavia until 1940s. Hats with 40cm brims were worn in central Transylvania and Muntenia. Felt hats with hard upturned brims - cu găng - were worn in Crişana, Hunedoara and Bucovina following a fashion of the gentry. Wide brimmed felt hats with a large peacock feather (Roată de păun) are still worn in Năsăud , further south the hats are much reduced in size, shepherds in Sibiu and along the southern Carpathians wear felt hats with very small brims, the present day fashion tending to do away with the brim altogether.

Green "trilby" style hats worn by Romanian border guards and mountain corps are still found in Pădureni and other areas today. This style originated in the Austrian Tyrol, and reached Romania during Habsburg rule, and became international due to the Habsburg's preference for wearing Tyrolese costume for hunting throughout their Empire. This style is now widespread for everyday use

Straw hats - Pălărie de paie

Straw hats are worn by men (and women) throughout Romania in the summer.  Straw hats vary in style from region to region although regional differences are now becoming less common as the straw version of the trilby takes over.

In Maramureş traditional straw hats (clop, pl. clopuri) are very small, while in Satu Mare, Arad, Câmpia Transylvania hats have a high crown the tallest, around 30cm, are found in Codru. In Oltenia and Teleorman along the Danube, flat brimmed straw hats with rounded crown are worn. In Maramureş and Ţara Oaşului men also often wear their clopuri in the winter.


Felt and straw hats are decorated on holidays and festive occasions with flowers, strings of beads (Moldavia, Năsăud), large woollen tassels (Făgăraş), gold thread cord (Apuseni Mts.), small copper chains (Transylvania Plain), peacock or peasant feathers (Moldavia, Muntenia, Transylvania) beads, ribbons and ostrich feathers (Ţara Oaşului). Most spectacular is semicircle of peacock feathers up to 25" in diameter worn by young men in Năsăud.


© Eliznik2005, First issue Feb-02, Last updated Aug-05