There are fewer hats in this world that are more unmistakably American than the coonskin cap. American icons such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett are generally depicted as wearing them, and during the early days of the Cold War, no little boy's outfit was complete without a coonskin cap perched on his head. As hats go, coonskin caps might be right up there with apple pie for pure, honest-to-goodness Americana.
Which makes a certain amount of sense, seeing as coonskin caps were worn in America long before there even was an America. The origins of the coonskin cap can be traced back to the Native American tribes who lived in the areas now known as Tennessee and Kentucky (no idea which tribes in particular, since the details seem to be a little fuzzy on that score.) When the European pioneers starting settling in the Volunteer and Bluegrass States, they decided they liked the hat just as much as they liked the land, so they took both.
In other words, we got the coonskin hat by way of yet another good 'ol American tradition: cultural appropriation. Also, Daniel Boone hated coonskin caps; he never wore them in life, preferring felt ones. The Truth: IT BURNS.
Anywho, the modern take on the coonskin cap doesn't necessarily have to be made out of fur. In fact, the modern take on the coonskin cap can be remarkably synthetic, right down to the bushy tail. But for those brave souls who don't give a flipping fart about what PETA thinks, coonskin caps are available in varying levels of raccoon involvement, be it just the tail or the whole shebang. For those who truly want to kick it old-school, you can even get them as the Native Americans truly intended them to be; complete with a raccoon face, looking blindly out at the world.
In any event, this entirely wordy post is brought to you by our very first submission to Heinous Hats. We have Squirrel Girl (AKA Elizabeth,) rocking the modern version of the coonskin cap at church.
Ain't she purty? Almost looks like she could've shot a b'ar when she was only three.
...Great. Now I've got that song stuck in my head. I hate it when things backfire like that. But thanks for the submission, Squirrel Girl!
Want you and your hat featured here? Send a photo to m.rose.evans@ gmail.com!