the Witch hat is a style of hat worn by witches in popular culture depictions, characterized by a conical crown and a wide brim in many different colors.
origins of witch hat
The origins of the witch hat as displayed today are disputed. One of the earliest theories is the mummified remains of the “witches” of Subeshi, who wear very tall, pointed black hats that resemble the iconic headgear of their sisters in medieval Europe. Subeshi, dated to between the 4th and 2nd centuries BCE, is located in a high gorge just to the east of the important city of Turfan. Another theory is that the image arose out of anti-Semitism: in 1215, the Fourth Council of the Lateran issued an edict that all Jews must wear identifying headgear, a pointed cap known as a Judenhat. Potentially, this style of the hat then became associated with black magic, Satan-worship, and other acts of which the Jews were accused.
A similar theory posits that the image of the archetypal witch hat was born from anti-Quaker prejudice. Although the hats traditionally worn by Quakers themselves were not pointed, Quaker caps were a focus of cultural controversy, and it is conceivable that the Puritan backlash against Quakers in the mid-18th century contributed to hats becoming part of the iconography of the demonic.
Yet another hypothesis proposes that witch hats originated as alewife hats, distinctive headgear worn by women who home-brewed beer for sale. According to this suggestion, these hats gained negative connotations when the brewing industry, dominated by men, accused alewives of selling diluted or tainted beer. In combination with the general suspicion that women with knowledge of herbology were working in an occult domain, the alewife hat could have become associated with witchcraft. a pointy hat is a form of writer’s shorthand, a means to indicate to the reader we are seeing a witch, a being of power, of dark pacts, potentially dangerous, to be respected and feared.