Accession number: NN6761
Place of collection: London
This hat is called a solar topee or pith helmet. It was manufactured in London for British people travelling to tropical areas to wear as protection against the sun. 'Topee' is the Hindu word for hat. This one is made from cork and covered in cloth. Some versions used pith from the Indian spongewood plant as an insulating layer, hence the hat's other name. This type of headgear has become a cliché of colonial dress.