What is the why and wherefore of this ancient Chinese hat?

I have sometimes seen pictures of ancient Chinese Emperors – like this one of the First Emperor, Qin Shih Huangdi – wearing a headdress which is kind of like an academic mortarboard, but with enlongated boards front and back, and a fringe of beads-on-strings before and behind. I wouldn’t want to have to be always looking at the world through a fringe of beads, but I presume the purpose of the front-fringe was to shield the Emperor from the casual glances of common eyes, while the purpose of the back-fringe was to balance the weight of the front-fringe. Is that all, or is there some other cultural explanation?

How can you tell that it’s not side to side?

Keeps the flies away, like the australian hat with corks dangling.

The traditional Chinese costume is called “Hanfu”.


The hat is called Mian Guan

That’s all I found on a quick search. My Google-Fu is weak!


Over time the fashion for “wu sha” (hat) changed from left -right to be front-back, to act as a sun and rain shade. So thats how they know its not left-right… it comes from the front back period.

(many portraits still show a left right bar , as the portraits copied portraits… but they forget it was the hat and drew a contemporary wu sha as well !)

And then the tongues got added, apparently to hide the emperors face while he is whispering, so no one can lip read.

Because baseball was unknown in ancient China.