What is a Kolpik hat?

In Ashkenazi Jewish tradition, a kolpik hat is a type of traditional headgear worn in families of some Chassidic rebbes (Hasidic rabbis) of Galician or Hungarian dynastic descent, by their unmarried children on the Sabbath (Shabbat), and by some rebbes on some special occasions other than Shabbat or major holidays. The kolpik is made from brown fur, other the Scottish hat was made up of different material as opposed to a spodik, worn by Polish Chassidic dynasties, which is fashioned out of black fur.[3] The shtreimel, another similar type of fur hat worn by Hasidim, is shorter in height, wider, and disc-shaped, while kopeks are taller, thinner in bulk, and of cylindrical shape.

It is seen as an intermediate level garment between Shabbat and weekday dress.

The word originated from a Turkic word for this kind of hat, kalpak, (also spelled calpac).

Joseph Margoshes (1866–1955) in his memoir A World Apart: A Memoir of Jewish Life in Nineteenth-Century Galicia writes regarding Rabbi Shimon Sofer’s election to the Imperial Council of Austria.

The election of the Krakow Rabbi to the Austrian Reichstag made a tremendous impression on the entire Jewish world, … It gave them an enormous pleasure to see even a single Rabbi achieve the major honor of sitting among so many great personages, clad in a fine calpac amid such esteemed gentlemen. The poor things did not know that the calpac was part of a historic Polish dress and that many Poles, especially extreme nationalists, would wear these same calpacs at their meetings.

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