Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tibetan hats (ཞྭ་མོ་ / དབུ་ཞྭ་)

The pionier of Tibetan studies, Giuseppe Tucci, mentioned somewhere that the Tibetans are fond of hats. Sanggye Gyatsho (1653-1705), the famous regent of Tibet wrote that Lhasa is the city of different languages and different hat-styles (སཀད་རིགས་ཞྭ་རིགས་མི་གཅིག་པ་ / skad rigs zhwa rigs mi gcig pa).

Below are some illustrations of Tibetan hats (photographed from publications on the Potala murals)

these hats are propably called rtse-zhwa

probably hats from Khalkha ??

left: hats called thang zhu, right: this could be a gzi dom

The famous བོད་རྒྱ་ཚིག་མཛོད་ཆེན་མོ་ (Bod rgya tshig mdzod chen mo), vol. III, illustrations, lists some hats together with their names.

The hat of Gushri Khan (bstan 'dzin chos kyi rgyal po). Gushri Khan and sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho (in front of the Fifth Dalai Lama)

(will be continued ....) 


  1. am currently engaged in a historical study of the 'black hats' worn by the Karma-pa hierarchs based on Tibetan and Chinese sources etc.
    this is in line with my work on the Mongol origin of quite a few 'Tibetan' pieces of garment.
    anybody interested in cooperation, please contact me at
    Tks Joachim Karsten

  2. Here's a list of Tibetan hat terms in Giuseppe Tucci's Religions of Tibet, p. 124: pad zhwa, rig 'dzin spyi zhwa, pad ma sam zhwa, pan zhwa, dwags zhwa, zhwa nag, zhwa dmar, pan zhwa, sgrub zhwa. p. 127: sa zhwa, ngor zhwa, sa zhwa, pan zhwa. pp. 132-3: dbyar gyi rta zhwa, gser zhwa, nam mkha' rab 'byams, gser theb, zhwa khra, zhwa gya la, nyi zhwa, sho khal. p. 136: dgun gyi rta zhwa. p. 140: rgyag zhwa.

    See also the illustrations in T.J.Norbu & C.Turnbull's book Tibet, although proper Tibetan spellings are not given for these hats.

  3. Thanks a lot, D., for pointing this out. Will check it.

  4. Here's a very interesting hat for you:

    Your 1st follower of many.

    Or am I 2nd?

  5. Thugs rje che for the link. Great sample!

    You are the 1st follower and the one who gives the best feedback.

  6. Some compounds containing the component zhwa can be added from Jäschke:
    (a) sdug zhwa = mourning-hood (s.v. sdug)
    (b) zhwa dmar/ser/nag/dkar
    (c) rgya/bod/sog zhwa
    (d) dgun/dbyar zhwa
    (e) …

  7. Hello therer thanks for the insightful information about tibetan culture and about their costumes specially for the hats.
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