Hat Tricks at the Peabody Museum

I love headgear. To a sickening degree. So, I got a little pain in my stomach this morning when a reader sent me a photo of an incredible Samurai helmet from Harvard's Peabody Museum that looked like it would work just as well for polo matches as it would to dodge swords. So, I went to the Peabody site, explored the great (albeit short on words) online collections and the jealousy washed over me. Here are some of my favorites - many of which, with tweaks, would look great today (ok, the Tlingit wooden helmet above, is probably best left on the wall).

Wooden hat made by Ifugao hat maker after seeing American army hat.

Plantain Fiber Fighting Turban

Grass caps

Quilted pith helmet originally belonging to F.J. Gillen

Hat, northwest coast

Samurai helmet mentioned above

Apache buckskin cap

Braided hat

Shallow Plantain Fiber Hat, Collected in 1940

Kayan straw hat

Wicker hat

Knitted grey pullover mask

Coiled weave hat

Grass Cap

Netted Cap, Caraya Indians

Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, Mass.


  1. Love these hats! That first image takes a bit for me to digest.
    A little creepy for me. I like the others & the stocking pullover.
    Thanks for sharing the images,
    Thurstan Howell the III should be so lucky to own one of those caps!

  2. That samurai helmet is excellent, but the head just scares the hell out of me!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the terribly interesting hat review. It makes one think how important all civilizations treat the head: fluffing it up, protecting it, enhancing it's attractiveness, hiding the hair, projecting the wearers social station or employment. Hats send messages to others in our tribe. I am relectent to admit I wear ear muffs. Wonder what that says about me? Love your blog. Ann

  4. OK, the knitted gray pullover mask wins. Yowza!

  5. candycane says:

    amazing! love them all. thanks for posting them!!

  6. I love the dog helmet....I have the perfect place to put it!

  7. Unknown says:

    Wow.. really wonderful collection of hats

  8. Lindsey says:

    I think these are really fascinating! I was trying to find them/ more information on them on the Peabody website, but haven't been able to yet. Could you let me know where you found some of these (esp. the knit pullover mask)?

  9. great post! Fascinating hats, I was especially interested in hats of Indigenous N. Americans~ thanks for sharing!

  10. I like all these hats and basically I prefer Apache buckskin cap. Looking so good.

    Army surplus