They come in many shapes and sizes, but these hats have one thing in common: Faith, each a symbol of reverence and sacred tradition.
Sikh men—and sometimes women—wear a dastaar or turban to cover unshorn hair. It’s a sign of spirituality as well as honor and self-respect, among other virtues.
A yarmulke or kippah is a cap worn by Jewish men during prayer, on the Sabbath, and during other sacred occasions. In some Jewish communities, the brimless cap is worn by men nearly always.
A Catholic nun’s veil is a protection from vanity and a sign of commitment and faith.
A biretta has been worn by certain Catholic clergy, such as priests, bishops, and cardinals, for centuries, and is a symbol of ecclesiastical authority.
Rtse zhwa (meaning “yellow hat”) is worn by Tibetan Buddhist monks. In Buddhism, yellow is a sign of humility and separation—renunciation of the world.
A shtreimel, always worn over a yarmulke, is a unique fur hat worn by Hasidic Jewish men and others. Tradition holds that the hat was a response to an edict to shame Jewish men for honoring the Sabbath, but the design became an emblem of honor.
A hijab is a female covering of modesty in Muslim cultures, and is also a symbol of dedication and separation, such as light from darkness or the profane world.
A tichel is a head covering worn by Jewish women, a sign of modesty and commitment.
Amish and Mennonite women, among other Christian women, wear bonnets based on New Testament advice to cover their heads during prayer (see 1 Corinthians 11:2–16).
A bindi, a red dot on a woman’s forehead, the location of the sixth chakra or third eye in Hindu tradition. Among other meanings, it’s a symbol of creation, intuition, communion with the Infinite, and the path of self-realization through prayer.
A mantilla or chapel veil expresses submission to God, often worn by women during Catholic mass, which also shows reverence and respect for the status and beauty of women.
The miter worn by some Christian clergy is a symbol of consecration to the priesthood, like the miter worn by the high priest in the days of Moses in the Old Testament.
A kufi, worn by Muslim men during prayer and other important occasions, is a sign of deep humility and reverence for God.