August 31, 2011

Kanmuri (遠紋) and Eboshi (立烏帽子) - Headgear of the Japanese Shinto Priests

Three blue questions remained unanswerd until today. It would be wonderful if one of the readers could help.

This very formal hat dates back to the Heian era (from the late 700s to the end of the 12th century). Originally worn by the nobility on formal occasions, the kanmuri is now part of traditional Shinto priests' clothing. This black, lacquered hat consists of a low cap with a tall knob on the back. A thin wired or lacquered strip of cloth and wooden crossbar are attached to the back of the knob.

Pope John XXIII. together with a Shinto priest wearing a Kanmuri

Kanmuri X002
During the celebration of Taisai (大祭) ceremonies (major festivals) and Chûsai ceremonies (intermediate-class festivals) all Shinto priests wear a kanmuri.

(1) Open question:
What is the Japanese name of the "tall knob" and the "tale"?
Which signification does these elements have?

© Kanmuri worn by a Shrine-Priest (shinshoku - 神職)

There is one detail to be mentioned:
Shrine priests from the top until the 2nd rang (ni-kyuu) have 4 rhombs on the long tale of the kanmuri.
The priests of the 3rd and 4th rang have two horizontal stripes on the tale of the kanmuri.

"One type of headdress worn by Shinto priests (shinshoku) during ritual ceremonies. Originally a headdress worn to indicate a man who had passed his "coming of age" ceremony (genpuku), the eboshi evolved into heavily lacquered and other various formalized types from the late Heian period; from the early modern period it was rarely worn outside of ritual occasions. Shinto vestments include three types, "formal vestments" (seisō), "ritual vestments" (reisō), and "ordinary vestments" (jōsō); of these, the eboshi is worn by male priests as part of the class of "ordinary vestments" which includes the robes called kariginu and jōe. (See Seisō, reisō , jōsō.)."

風折烏帽子 本皮縁
Eboshi E160 firm

During the shôsai (minor festivals) all Shinto priests wear the eboshi.
The eboshi is either made of firm or soft and transparent material.
In this case the hierarchy of the priests will be distiguished by the hakama (袴 - culottes).
The eboshi made of soft and light weight materal is more comfortable to wear than the firm model.

More often a paper cord is used to fix the hat and to assure higher hygiene.

立烏帽子(懸緒紙捻付 紙箱入)
Eboshi E020 firm

This kind of eboshi is fixed with a paper-cord on the head.

The indentation at the front of eboshi makes it easier to carry. Without it the eboshi would shake if worn.
(2) Open question:
On the front side the eboshi has some kind of ornaments:
Has this any meaning?

The cords allows to adapthe eboshi on the head circumfernce of the wearer


懐中用烏帽子: Kaichu yo Eboshi
本皮縁 裏付
Eboshi E040 soft and transparent, very light weight

張貫製 本皮縁
Eboshi E090


引立烏帽子 (白鉢巻付)
Eboshi E080 light weight and transparent
2 white ribbons
This kind of eboshi is worn by priest cadidates
(3) Open question:
What is the sense of the two white ribbons?

August 22, 2011

Hat Identification?

The picture is entiteld:
Rome 1869 at the "washing of the feet"

For me it was uncommon to see a man holding a bouquet of flowers?
What kind of hat he is wearing?

Maybe the picture illustrates one of the twelve "Poveri"?
SS Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rome was the papal station for this rite. The man is definitely not one of the confratelli, who have a red habit. Nor is he an acolythe.

He would have his feet washed, and then eat at a banquet in the still existant refectory (which is still called Sala dei Papi because of all the busts). Perhaps the flowers were an offering to the celebrant?

In Italy, in former times, Poveri were dressed in albs.

© picture: The Saint Lawrence Press, 21th of April 2011
"The above picture is taken from Herbert Thurston's 'Lent and Holy Week'. The drawing shows the pope washing the feet of thirteen poor men on Mandy Thursday.  ...
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Mandatum normally takes place after the Gospel of the novel evening Mass. The feet of twelve men, not thirteen are washed but the feet are no longer kissed."

August 19, 2011

Cardenal Vidal y Barraquer with Skufia (σκούφια) or "bonete circular"?

© picture: Nexusediciones

The question I could not answer until now is why a Roman Catholic cardinal is wearing a headgaer similar to  Greek Orthodox Skufia or Koukos?

Two priests together with inhabitants of the village Luco de Jiloca (Teruel). They wear clerical headgear with the singularity that the priest on the left side of the picture wear a round cap ("bonete circular") with a pompon on top. The prist on the right side a simple round cap.

Maybe this kind of headgear was mainly used inside the house especially during low temperaturs? Teruel is one of the most cold areas in Spain in winter. The pompon probably mean that the priest was the rector of the parrish?
I guess the picture was taken in winter, because the priests wear the "dulleta", a clerical coat used in winter season.

Greek Orthodox Skufia

Greek Orthodox Koukos

August 16, 2011

Get your Custom-Made Biretta or Bonete from Mr. Peter Bird!

© all 3 pictures: Mr Peter Bird

Mr Peter Bird is a biretta enthusiast, who believes that the biretta is symbolic of centuries-old tradition, much of which has been lost in the surge of liturgical reform since the 1960s. In order to help maintain and promote this tradition, he makes bespoke birettas, entirely hand-stitched, both liturgical and academic, and can supply these for the cost of the materials and postage. Both Roman (biretta) and Spanish (bonete) styles are available, as well as specialised and non-standard birettas.

If you are interested to get in contact with Mr Bird, please use this contact form and I will mail you his email address.

August 12, 2011

The Juliet Cap and the Tam Cap - A Femal Choir Regalia in the Anglican Church

The Juliet cap is made of red polyester fabric, 6 segements and a littel stem on top
It is mainly used by junior members of the choir.

Tam Cap with black tassel
Have a look at the catalogue (page 42) of J. Wippell and Company Limited, Exeter, Great Britain
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