Hakka Women's Cool Hats

There are 56 Chinese ethnic groups. The Han Chinese make up more than 90% of the Chinese population. The Han people living in our area are called Hakka. While outside, many of the working Hakka women here wear a type of traditional Hakka hat called a “liang mao,” a “cool hat” or “draping hat.” The main hat is woven straw or bamboo, actually like a disc with a hole in the center, and there is a lightweight cloth that hangs down about six inches from the brim. These hats have a 1000 year history! Originally, they were worn to cover a ladies face in public, today, the cloth is shortened in front for vision, but they still shelter the head, face, and neck, from the sun. I have only seen black draping cloths, but I read that they can also be blue or white. Unmarried women may sew colored ribbons around the bottom of the cloth. The crown part of the hat is actually just a hole, but here, usually a floral fabric is sewed in. The sign is used locally to advertise traditional Hakka foods, at this snack shop, it was for a tofu pudding.