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Evolution of Caps in China

Cap has a long history in China, which can be proved by several Chinese idioms, like "Yi Guan Chu Chu" (both clothes and  cap are neatly dressed ), and "Guan Mian Tang Huang (elegant and formal in dressing)", and so on. The "Guan" and "Mian" here refer to cap.
 
The principle of wearing caps was dainty and recherche, forming an indispensable part of Chinese costume: when a man reached the age of 20, he began to wear cap, hence a ceremony called "Guanli (Ceremony of the Cap)", indicating that he had grown up and been mature.

The cap in ancient China had only a narrow ridge covering only part of the calvaria, unlike the present cap that covers the whole head. But some functions in daily life have't changed at all, like cold prevention, warm keeping, and decoration.

After the cap emerged, the hierachical rule in terms of social status was added to it. The rule on cap wearing was different from dynasty to dynasty, but usually, the poor with a low social status were not allowed to wear a cap.

Chinese caps have their own distinctive features from dynasty to dynasty, and from area to area. In the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), the shape of the cap was already similar to that of today, but then a cap must be went together with a headband. A low status person could only wear a headband, and a minor was only allowed to wear a hollow headband. The influence of such a rule didn't change until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  
 
In the Ming Dynasty, Wushamao (black gauze cap) appeared in the court. "Mian" appeared earlier than "Guan", generally refers to the cap exclusively owned by the king. Only when the son of the emperor succeeded to the throne could he be coronated ("Jiamian", means confering the crown). Laborers could only wear headband, mostly used for wiping off the sweat, and later it served as a cap.         

People of the Liao (916-1125) and Jin (1115-1234) Dynasties usually wore fur caps, and people of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) usually wore helmet-style caps and hats. Moreover, there were little colorful cap of the Uygur, felt cap of the Tu, fox fur cap of the Mongolian, and so on.