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Traditions

The Coppola (Hat)

I can remember both My Grandfather’s, My Father and Father-in-law wearing the hat know as COPPOLA. I’m sure that many more of us have memories of relatives wearing this hat. Many of us still wear the Coppola hat. I know I have done so.

It’s traditionally known as an Italian hat. The style is a flat cap. The theory is this “flat cap” originated in England during the reign of the Tudors. Then sometime in the early 20th century, it became popular in Sicily and Calabria, the Coppola Hat became very popular.

Because of all the different dialects the Coppola hat was also called the Berritta, Cicia, Bonete, Cuppula, or Bonety.

Evidence in some 1789 writings,  shows a vocabulary of Neapolitan dialect bears both the Coppola and the Coppolone derivative and describes the headdress as a “peasant biretta (farmer’s cap). To the same century also belongs a Neapolitan song, entitled O cunto ‘e Masaniello which, narrating the story of the famous Masaniello, alludes among other things to “its red Coppola”, a sign that the term was already known and of common use at a popular level.

Many different materials are used in the making of the Coppola hat. However choosing a material seems to be a personal preference. 

Today, the Coppola is widely regarded, at least in Italy, as a definitive symbol of Sicilian and or Calabrian heritage.

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