Gat (hat)

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.

Korean name
Revised Romanizationgat

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 (Korean상투; RRsangtu).

Gwanghwamun, September 1, 1894

Artisans who make gat are called gatiljang (갓일장) in Korean, from gatil (갓일 "hatmaking, millinery") + jang (Korean; Hanja "artisan, craftsman, master of a craft").[1] 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 (Korean입형백화피모; Hanja笠形白樺皮帽) from the Gyeong-ju Geumnyeongchong (Korean금령총; 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 (Korean감신총; Hanja龕神塚), an ancient Goguryeo tomb.

Colors and typesEdit

Colors and types of gat were differentiated by circumstances and/or social status.

During the Joseon period, black gat (Korean흑립; Hanja黑笠; RRheungnip) were restricted to men who had passed the gwageo examination. In narrow definition, black gat is what represents Korean gat.

Black gat
Black gat

A white gat (Korean백립; Hanja白笠; RRbangrip) 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.[2]

White gat

A red gat (Korean주립; Hanja朱笠; RRJoorip) was used by military officers in Joseon dynasty. Its color came from painting it in red lacquer.[3]

Commoners wore a variant called Paeraengyi (패랭이) which was woven from split bamboo.[4]

Paeraengyi (bottom view)
Paeraengyi (top view)

Presence in Cultural IndustryEdit

In South Korean TV series Kingdom from 2019, gat is worn by the actors to represent each character's social classes.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ganniljang (갓일장)". SNU PRESS.
  2. ^ "White Gat 백립(白笠)". Encyclopedia of Korean Culture.
  3. ^ "Red Gat 주립(朱笠)". Encyclopedia of Korean Culture.
  4. ^ "패랭이". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Fancy hats in Netflix Korean Zombie series "Kingdom"".

External linksEdit