The Jack Daulton Collection
Antique & Ethnographic Art

dervish cap or hat

Persia, 20th century

embroidered wool felt


dervish cap or hat (kolah-e dervish)

white lamb-wool felt, with black silk embroidery (satin, stem, and two-sided line stitches) in Arabic calligraphy

height: approx. 23 cm; diameter (at bottom): approx. 18.3 cm

Persia (Iran), Khaksari Sufi order

20th century

acquired in Iran by Jack Daulton

This cap or hat is part of the ritual outfit of a dervish, a Sufi initiate or mendicant.  

For a discussion of these types of dervish caps, see: Mary H. Farahnakian, "Iranian Headwear in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries," Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion: Central and Southwest Asia, ed. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2010)  ("The dervish hat was worn as a part of ritual clothing in the Sama [sema], the lively Sufi mystical ceremony to worship Allah" -- popularly referred to as the whirling dervish ceremony.)  

Nearly identical examples can be found in the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.

another view of our cap:
another view:
another view:
a final view of our cap:
The Daulton Collection