A gat is a type of Korean traditional hat worn by men along with hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) during the Joseon period. It is made from horsehair with a bamboo frame and is partly transparent.
Most gat are cylindrical in shape with a wide brim on a bamboo frame. Before the late 19th century, only noble class men could wear gat, which represented their social status and protected their topknots (Korean: 상투; RR: sangtu).
Artisans who make gat are called gatiljang (갓일장) in Korean, from gatil (갓일 "hatmaking, millinery") + jang (Korean: 장; Hanja: 匠 "artisan, craftsman, master of a craft"). As it is a very complex process and requires different materials, gatiljang today is considered as Intangible Cultural Property No.4.
The origins of gat date back to ancient times. Usually, the following hats are considered to be the first specimens of what is known as gat today: the So-called Iphyeong Baekhwa Pimo (Korean: 입형백화피모; Hanja: 笠形白樺皮帽) from the Gyeong-ju Geumnyeongchong (Korean: 금령총; Hanja: 金鈴塚), an ancient Silla tomb, and the pan-shaped gat which is distinct from ordinary hats in pattern and shape and is depicted on the murals of the Gamsinchong (Korean: 감신총; Hanja: 龕神塚), an ancient Goguryeo tomb.
In literature, the Samguk yusa said: "In Silla, Won Seong-wang (King Won Seong) put off the Bokdu and wore the Sorip, in a dream", so it seems that gat had been used already in the Three Kingdoms of Korea era.
Colors and typesEdit
Colors and types of gat were differentiated by circumstances and/or social status.
A white gat (Korean: 백립; Hanja: 白笠; RR: bangrip) was worn at the time of a national funeral. It is made in the same manner as black gat except that its finish is done by bae which adds white color to it.
Commoners wore a variant called Paeraengyi (패랭이) which was woven from split bamboo.
Presence in Cultural IndustryEdit
- "Ganniljang (갓일장)". SNU PRESS.
- "White Gat 백립(白笠)". Encyclopedia of Korean Culture.
- "Red Gat 주립(朱笠)". Encyclopedia of Korean Culture.
- "패랭이". naver.com. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Fancy hats in Netflix Korean Zombie series "Kingdom"".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gat.|
- Gat, Traditional Headgear in Korea by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage
- "Master Artisan of Horsehair Hat Making" (in Korean)
- "Gat, Encyclopeida of Korean Culture" (in Korean)