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midweek Connect: 10/6/21 ~ Hats - On and/or Off!

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

I’ve been thinking a lot about hats lately. Perhaps because of the change of season here in the northeast USA, when it’s time now to put away our sun hats and dig out our winter hats! So, I thought we’d spend our moments together this week exploring some cultural aspects of hats - wearing them, or not. In the HOST dimension of our 3D Dynamics training, we often take the time to focus in on specific cultural items or “artifacts”, which can help (or, if misused, hinder!) our understanding and integration across cultures.*

Hats can be found around this wide world and there are (oh, so many!) different types, and reasons for their use - or for ‘doffing’ (removing) them (check out the LINK below for some history of that word - a worthy future Connect exploration in itself). Respect, celebration, personal and group identity are often woven into the ‘fabric’ (or whatever materials are used) of hats. They have such a huge range of form and purpose - from the entirely functional (like unadorned plastic caps, or even bags, to protect one from the rain) to the completely whimsical (like costume or party hats worn through the centuries for seasonal celebrations). They often have complex socio-cultural roles to play as well, both in their presence and their absence - roles very worthy of our attention as we move across cultures.

One of my favorite types of hats used to be masterfully created by construction workers in West Africa. Each day, as I passed construction projects, I’d eagerly see what was on display! After preparing the cement, the workers repurposed pieces of dusty, heavy paper cement bags into extravagant hats - high and mighty crowns, comical jester-like caps, jaunty bonnets. They would then proudly, even arrogantly, wear their headgear as they worked so hard through the hot days. I wish I had a photo of some of these hats and their creators at work - they always delighted and intrigued me,,,such artistic masterpieces worn by such hard-working day laborers!

How about you ~ noticed any cross-cultural hat moments lately...on or off?!

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for more hat-related sources...

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,


* Global SKILLs 3 Dimensional (3D) Dynamics Model: 1st dimension = HOME ; 2nd dimension = HOST (which we looked at today); 3rd dimension = HARBOR)

~ contact me for more information on this model and how you might use it in your current programming


~ a world tour of hats in just a few, fun moments:

~ a more serious look at one type of hat, the Vietnamese conical hat, considering fashion and race:

~ and a bit of etymology: to wear or not to wear - the first recorded use in English of the term ‘doff’ or take off (hat-wise) was by Shakespeare himself:

2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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 Elizabeth Barbour
Elizabeth Barbour
Oct 13, 2021

Quand un vieil meurt, une bibliothèque brûle

When an elder dies, a library burns.

~ response from a long time friend of all things African

August 25, 2021

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