Ethnic hats for babies, women and men from Chinese minorities, Hilltribes of Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.
From the Banjara of India, these are called ‘indhoni’ and are used on the head to balance a container(usually water). These are lovingly handmade, wrapped in cotton cloth and then sewn with beaded patterns. The larger one has 5 tassels attached which are also decorated with beads. Someone with small hands could wear them as bracelets, or include them in a bead collection, or use for fun home decor. These are vintage pieces- probably mid-20th century, and show some wear, but it does not detract. Sold as a pair.
Size: Large ring is 4 in across x 1.25 in. outside, inside is 2.25 in.; smaller ring is 3.75 x 1 in. outside, inside is 2.25 in.
Heavily ornamented with old earrings, coins, beads, chains, dangles, and odd bits of jewelry, this fanciful hat probably came from Afghanistan, tho we don’t know from which group. It is in the style of Turkoman hats we have had, but the ornament is different. Age, too, is difficult to determine, tho it is probably from the last half of the 20th century. Regardless, it would be a great addition to a hat collection.
Size: 6.75 in. across x 4.5 in to crown; 12.5 in. tail
Probably from northern Thailand or possibly Laos, this lovely child’s hat is completely covered in cross-stitch embroidery in cotton and silk (the colors are richer than in the photos.). Ornamented with the typical large Yao pom poms, this was for a little girl. It’s become much more difficult to find clean examples of hats like this in good condition.
Size: 6 in. across x 5.5 in. high
The most recent of the ‘hilltribes’ to migrate into northern Thailand, the Palaung are from Burma. We bought this colorful hat from the lady who made it. A lot of time went into adding all the beads and hemispherical metal embellishments. Additional strings of beads form long tassels and give it a jaunty air. The base fabric is a lovely, intense peacock blue that is less intense in the photos. This is a fun example of the evolution of traditional hats, as these groups now have access to market materials. It appears to be in unworn, like-new condition.
Size: 7 in. across x 5.5 in. high
This elaborate old festival hat is from the Sani people, a subgroup of the Yi, who live near the famous Stone Forest in Yunnan Province, China. It consists of a cap edged with rows of handstitching, with small metal cones embellishing the edges; a small panel with a handsome graphic embroidery ornaments the front. Attached to the cap is a panel of fine embroidery, including precise running stitches and cross stitching, that sits on top and runs down the back; including two colors of corduroy cloth, it is edged with old market cloth and finished with red fringe around the top; long streamers fall down the back. We see very few of these. Good condition for the age, with two small holes on a streamer and some soil.
Size: 6.5 in across x 21 in. including streamers
From a Miao group in southwest China, this small hat is probably for a boy due to the backflap/tail. It has a strong graphic pattern of spirals done in applique with outlines of silk-wrapped horsehair. A special complex knot at the center tops it off. Condition is used, with wear to the edges and on the top, plus some repairs.
Size: 5.5″dia. x 4.25″h.
This is a Miao young woman’s festival hat from Huangping County in Guizhou Province, SW China. This group is noted for their shiny bronze color jackets and finely pleated skirts; this hat tops off the ensemble. It is covered in three bands of very fine silk embroidery that is similar to the sleeve bands on their jackets. This one is a very nice example with mellow colors and complex patterns, and in very good condition. (Please note that the embroidery covers all but 5″ at the back of the hat, which is typical.)
Size: 7 in. dia. x 4.75 in. h
Very tiny, this old Miao baby hat from China is small in every respect: the indigo-dyed cotton is very finely woven, and the embroidery is so tiny that it can barely be seen as cross stitches. Done with a single thread, the edging and all other stitching is all by hand. This is a very sweet hat. Condition is good, with no holes, but some soil. Priced accordingly.
Size: 5.5 in. across x 3.5 in. high at the ears
This tiny hat from the Miao people is perfect for a small baby. Simple in style, but sweet in decoration, it could be worn by either a boy or girl. Quilted red silk satin forms the hat, with small 'ears' formed by stuffing the corners. The front panel is silk and decorated with lively hand-embroidered botanical motifs in silk. The hat is not new, but does not show a lot of wear like most we see now- probably because it was quickly outgrown. It would be very cute displayed in a collection.
Size: 7.75 in. x 5 in. when flat; about 5 in. across when open.