Hats and Headwear around the World

A Cultural Encyclopedia

by Beverly Chico


Hats and headwear illustrate the diversity of human experience.

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October 2013


Pages 531
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture

This concise encyclopedia examines headwear around the world, from ancient times to the modern era, comprising entries that address cultural significance, religion, historical events, geography, demographic and ethnic issues, fashion, and contemporary trends.

Are feathers from endangered bird species still commonly used on hats? Why do many Muslim women cover their heads? How has advancing technology influenced modern headwear? This concise encyclopedia provides the answers to these questions and many more regarding headwear and human culture in its examination of headwear around the world. It examines topics from ancient times to the modern era, providing not only detailed physical descriptions and historical facts but also information that addresses cultural significance, religion, historical events, geography, demographic and ethnic issues, fashion, and contemporary trends. The entries reveal fascinating insights into headwear as historical, aesthetic, fashion, utilitarian, mystical, and symbolic apparel, and supplies comprehensive analyses of hats across the globe unavailable in the existing literature.


  • Vividly documents the fundamental human experience and universal practice of adorning the head
  • Highlights the global community and cultural linkages of headwear function, material, and style
  • Directly relates hats to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, usage, and form
  • Enables greater understanding of human diversity throughout time by tracing the development of headgear
  • Provides dozens of sidebars to pique reader interest and offer short, witty, funny, or pertinent content
Author Info

Beverly Chico, PhD, is history/humanities professor at Regis University in Denver, CO. For more than 40 years, she has been collecting, researching, exhibiting, lecturing, and consulting for museums on hats and headwear from around the globe. Her published work includes articles in Dress, the journal of the Costume Society of America; Scribner's Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion; and Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion.



"From the historical to the cultural, the balaclava to the burqa, this entertaining compendium has a hat for all occasions – and not only hats, but also examples of caps, crowns, wigs, and veils."Reference Reviews

"Many entries include references for further reading and research. Summing Up: Recommended."Choice

"Entries are easy-to-read yet complete and provide a nice springboard for further research. Overall, this is a nice addition to any library with patrons interested in fashion or the history of clothing."Booklist

"An absorbing cultural study for those fascinated by fascinators and more."Library Journal

"With the publication of this title, researchers in fashion and costume history now have a well-researched reference work in which to find the history, significance, and meaning behind hats and headwear worn throughout the world."ARBA

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