Traditional festival cap from the Portuguese island of Madeira.
As compared to other hats, the carapuço does not serve as a protection against wind, rain or sun. It plays the role of a fashionable accessory.
The origin of the carapuça is not well-known. Some give it Greek roots while others see an oriental influence. However, some sources date the carapuça back to the time of the inquisition. During inquisition, the condemned were forced to wear ridiculous costumes when attending their trials. That ridiculous costume consisted of a tunic shaped like a poncho and a long pointed hat or cap. This is how the Portuguese saying: “vestir a carapuça” or wearing the cap originated. It means as much as taking the blame.
Furthermore, it was believed that young unmarried ladies decorated their carapuça with the wealth of their family in gold jewelry and earrings in order to attract richer potential husbands.
It’s also a common joke, that if bachelor men are wearing the hat to village festas, they should ensure the tail is up straight while married men should ensure the tail is bent to display their relationship status.