June 21, 2012

Hats worn by Franciscans at the Spanish Missions in California

During my visit of the Franciscan establishments along the California Mission Trail I saw at the museum of  the mission in Santa Barbara the following hat:

The museum of the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia exhibits:

These hats are similar to the cappello romano (saturno) with two exeptions:
- the crown is cylindrical with a flat top (not spherical)
- the hat has a wide brim

The wide brim reminds of a sombrero, a hat worn to protect the wearer against strong sunlight. Franciscan friars in California are exposed strong sunlight, especially during summer time.
Maybe the black color was worn during winter and whit during summer (to achieve a better reflection of the sunlight)?

To recognize them as catholic priest they used the typical hat cord with two tassels.
The tassels are typical f.e. for the Chapéu de Raia, too.

In this context, some paintings/drawings out of the book of Leonce Angrand:

1 comment:

  1. Is it possible that the hat you saw in Santa Barbara was originally brown and not black? The Franciscans gradually moved from undyed wool to brown starting in the 16th century. It was only in 1975 that the Chestnut brown color was mandated.

    The tassels on the hats for the Franciscans are unusual because they typically eschew any type of ornamentation. I will have to go look at the hat in the museum at San Luis Rey again, but I remember the tassels as being rather ornate.

    You mention the tassels indicate the wearer as a Catholic priest, would this then differentiate the friar-priests from the non-ordained friar-brothers? In their current garb they are indistinguishable.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...