The World List of Intangibles of Tourist Attraction
The Kalpak, properly called the "Ak Kalpak" (white Kalpak), is a hat usually made from four panels of white felt with traditional patterns stitched into them as decoration. It is worn by males of all ages especially in rural Kyrgyzstan, and is a symbol of the nation.
There are different styles of kalpak. They can all be folded flat for
storage or carrying when not being worn. In some cases the brim may be turned
up all the way around, and in some cases there is a cut in the brim so that a
two-pointed "peak" can be formed. Plain white ones are often reserved for
festivals and special occasions. Those intended for everyday use may have a
black'velvet' lining. The most common form of kalpak is thought to resemble the
shape of KhanTengri.
Even if it looks a little strange to western eyes, this headgear is also a practical item of clothing keeping the head warm in winter and protecting from the heat in the summer.
In a region where hats are an important mark of "who you are" they identify the wearer as specifically Kyrgyz.
The kalpak is the most "sacred" of national clothing for the Kyrgyz. It has mystic qualities that many say they can feel when they wear it.
Location: The Kyrgyz Republic
The year of entering to the World List of Tourist Attractions: 2018