Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Barretina

It's a bit of a side track from the Béret Basque, but since they share so many similarities, in name, country of origin and use, I think its well worth a post on this blog.

The barretina is a traditional Catalan hat that was frequently worn by men. It is a hat in the form of a bag, made of wool, usually red and sometimes purple. In variants, it was worn by people in various cultures around the Mediterranean Sea, like Catalonia, Valencia, Ibiza, Provence, Corsica, Sicily, Sardinia and parts of the Balkans and Portugal. In Catalonia and on Ibiza, men wore it until the 19th century, mainly in the rural areas.

Today, the barretina is no longer commonly seen in everyday life, but is still used in folkloristic dances and as a symbol of Catalan identity.

Salvador Dalí re-popularized the barretina in the first half of the 20th century.

The Catalan Christmas figure, known as caganer, also wears a barretina. The caganer is depicted in the act of defecation, 'caganer' being Catalan for 'pooper'.

And then, the barretina obviously resembles the Phrygian Cap or Freedom Cap in many ways – that has to wait till another post though…

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