The humble hat is an item used to cover the head. It is both functional and also scene as a sign of social status. Additionally, it is seen as a popular fashion accessory. They are used by almost all cultures around the world and are prevalent in both social life as well as professional lines of work such as the military. Most modern variants serve a dual function as both a fashion accessory as well as a fully functional means of shading the eyes from the glaring sun. Here are some lesser known Asian hats from around the Asian region.

Conical Hats

The conical hat is one that is Asian in origin and is used in a wide variety of Asian countries in the East and the South East. It goes by a number of other names such as the coolie hat or the rice hat. It features a simple chin strap to ensure it remains secured on the wearers head and is fully functional. The function of the Conical hat is two fold. Firstly, it is designed to shield the wearers and head from the sun. Secondly, it acts as a shield against the rain. This makes it the ideal form of headgear for farmers in particular. Due to its close link to Asian farmers, this hat is almost always depicted as being worn by a person of Asian descent.

Gat Hats

The Gat is a hat steeped in Korean traditions where it was worn by men along with Korean traditional clothing. It is thought to have been popularized in the Joseon Dynasty which reigned between the 14th and 19th centuries. It is almost always black and made form a mix of bamboo and horsehair. It is also semi-transparent. One of the defining features of the Gat is its very wide brim matched with a cylindrical frame. Additionally, it was seen as a status symbol as only married men from certain social classes could wear them in the 19th century.

Gaung Baung

A Gaung Baung is typically less of a hat than it is a turban of sorts. It is the traditional head covering for various Burmese ethnic groups of which most are Buddhist. Each ethnic group wears variants that are slightly different from one another of which there are four major types today. While its use in modern Myanmar (Burma) has wittled, it is still used for traditional ceremonies along with traditional attire. It is also seen as a status symbol depending on the materials used (Cotton, silk).


The Songkok is popular primarily in South East Asian countries where it is still widely used in Malaysia, Indonesia as well as Singapore. It is usually only offered in black and is a square like cap that very much resembles US Air force caps. It is mainly used by men and is traditionally used by people from a specific race and religion. It is only worn by muslim men that are usually of the Malay race in Malaysia. In other South East Asian countries, it is worn by Southern Filipino’s, Southern Thai people as well as the majority of muslim men in Indonesia. There are female varieties which is differentiated by its curved back.

Author's Bio: 

If you're interested in a range of hat boxes in the UK like fabric hat boxes and more, do click on the links.