The hat, which was called “Guan” in ancient times, was a sign of people’s status and a symbol of a mature man. The hats that interpret the etiquette and status were called “Guan” or “Mian” at that time. With the development of human history and increasing demand of life and production, the main function of hat has been transformed from just decorating into some practical application such as keeping warm and preventing harm.

The long history of hat marks a gradual integration of its decorating function in demonstration of etiquette, religion, spiritual quality and aesthetic appreciation with practical application of winter-proofing, sun-shading, rain-shading and worm-expelling. It looks small but a vivid embodiment of its ethnic, regional, cultural features as well as characteristic of folk custom for the time being.

Every hat is telling the stories of its past and present. That is the history of hats in China.

Hats exhibited here cover 16 categories of 23 ethnic groups of 56 Chinese nationalities, including Tibetan, Korean, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tartar, Hui, Hezhen, Oroqen, Bai, Derung, Yi, Miao, She, Buyei, Tujia, Gelao, Naxi, Yao and Dai nationalities. These hats are collected from a wide range of regions in northeast, northwest and southwest China, covering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Xinjiang. They were made during four centuries from the Qing Dynasty to modern times.

Location: 1st floor, Bai Branch Museum, South Park

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