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Bairéad agus an Bioraid / Bonnet and the Phrygian Cap

The Irish are recorded as normally going around bareheaded. Hats were sometimes worn and usually fell into two main styles. The Bairéad (pronounced "barrayd"), has been worn since the late sixteenth century, perhaps earlier. It is older than the similar shaped beret. It is sometimes called a Boinéad (English bonnet) and a Caipín (English cawbeen).

The Bioraid (pronounced "birridge") is another commonly worn hat and is known in English as a Phrygian Cap. It is indeed very similar to the ancient Phrygian Cap and was probably its ancestor, but the Irish form is stiffer, especially at the top, the part which normally flops forward on continental forms.

 

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