Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hats and Hair

I prefer a baseball cap myself, but the women of Bolivia sure love their hats. The above pictures show three distinct styles of millnery and express a fashion statement particular to a geographical location.
The last photo of two ladies waiting in the shade for a bus is taken here in Cochabamba. I have been told the hat is called a sombrero de chola. It is of hand-woven straw and has a wide rigid brim.
I have shown pictures of the second hat on previous posts. It is called a brombina of Italian origin and is the rage throughout LaPaz and the the Altiplano.
The third hat belongs to a lady from Eastern Bolivia, I am told, possibly from Santa Cruz. It is similar to the Cochabamba hats, but is floppy.
Please notice the hair. Most Bolivian women have contemporary hair-dos like any American or European. but there are those like who prefer the traditional look. They have the longest braids I have ever seen, in fact I think, some add some kind of extension which loops across at the bottom and ties the two braids together. I have neither the nerve nor language skills to ask. Perhaps these photos might stimulate some ideas for your Spring look. I think all these people look really cool.


  1. If I had hair, I'd be all over the braids. We could find this post in some fashion magazine in NY, eh Lee? I can see you now, hosting the reality show . . .

  2. It's never good to have to follow the above act, so let me just say, the women do look cool and I especially like the 1st photo. We used to make fake braids out of colored yarn when I was in 4th grade. I hate to admit, I think it was my idea. Or maybe Gary's, because he did have hair back then. And we tied them together, not only our own heads, but several of us, like kids with Siamese braids. It seems the guys here like baseball caps, too.

  3. Great post, Lee! Wild hats -- you are bringing some of those home with you, aren't you? Start a whole new thing here! Love your photos! You do capture the feel for hats!! Hope you have a great weekend!


  4. As a fellow appreciator of hats, you've made a good start. There are many more styles displayed in Bolivia that are just as attractive as those you've highlighted--I'm guessing at least 20 or 30 or more. Bolivia is one of the most amazingly varied nations in the world--from mountain to jungle micro-climates--the people who inhabit them--and the hats they wear--men too.
    It's wondrous.
    Agreeably, locoto

  5. I like the hats in the bottom picture the best, the sombrero de chola. There are creative possibilities just in the hatbands with the artificial flower ornaments in back. I enlarged the pictures so I could see the stitch details of the women's sweaters too. Between here and Etsy it seems like I've been looking at clothes all day, but there is actually a method to my least I think there is.

  6. Amazing hair. I like their tradition of hat wearing ... it suits them very much.

  7. Just a small peice of information, these ladies are using "inside-out braids".

  8. Happy Birthday! ;-)

    I think they look better with braids.

  9. My hat's off to you, Lee! A very interesting post - as usual.

    But of the three, I like the sombreros the bestest!

    Good photos!

  10. Like Ciel said...Happy Birthday! :-)

    I'll probably have occasion to say it after your next post too, but I don't mind saying it twice...or three times for that matter.