Monday, September 8, 2008

Conical straw hat

The conical hat, sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat or coolie hat is a simple style of straw hat originating in and Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, China, and Japan. It has a shape and is kept on the head by a cloth chin strap; an internal band of the same material keeps the hat itself from resting on the wearer's head. Conical hats are used primarily as protection from the sun and rain. When made of straw or matting, it can be dipped in water and worn as an impromptu evaporative-cooling device.

Because of its distinctive shape, it is used often in the depiction of East Asians. Recently, as part of international one day cricket matches in Australia, the conical hat has been a fashion phenomenon amongst spectators with many decorated in Australian livery. Given that spectators are exposed for long periods in direct sunlight, the conical hat is a logical device.

In Japan, the hat is called . In mainland China and Taiwan, it is called ''dǒu lì'' . The Vietnamese name is ''Nón lá'' .

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