Anyone who has seen photographs of Afghan mujahideen during the war at least once should have noticed that the men of the mountains very often wear some kind of strange hats resembling berets. This headdress is obviously so popular that it has become a kind of symbol of the Afghan partisans. It's time to learn a little more about him and figure out what the strange hat really is.
The traditional headdress of the people of Afghanistan is called a pakol and is actually a beret with a cylindrical base. It is worn not only in Afghanistan.
The hat is quite common as an element of traditional costume throughout the region of South Asia. The second place where this headdress is very popular is Pakistan. For the most part, pakol is worn by Pashtuns, Nuristanis, and Tajiks.
The hat is made of wool using the method of hand-made yarn. The main essence of the manufacturing process is to create a set of folds and seams.
Thus, each pakol turns out to be multilevel and can be stretched downward, increasing in size. If you completely unwind the hat, you can get a round piece of wool with a diameter of up to 60 cm.
Different pakoli differ in the type of wool used, as well as the quality of the lining. Most often, the headdress is made in light or dark shades of gray, beige, brown, black, ocher.
It appears that pakol has established itself as a headgear as a means of protecting the head from the sun's rays in mountainous regions. It was originally a shepherds' hat.
Interestingly, the pakol is very similar to the Greek causia headdress, which was also worn by shepherds, inhabitants of the mountainous regions of ancient Greece.
Based on this, there is a good chance that the warriors of Alexander the Great brought this headdress to South Asia.
However, one should not exclude the reverse pattern, that the Macedonians could borrow the vending headdress to Greece from their campaigns.
Moreover, the present Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan after the death of Alexander the Great were the Hellenistic state of Bactria, the capital of which, Baktra, was located on the territory of modern northern Afgan.
The local indigenous population there was thoroughly mixed with newcomer Greeks and Macedonians, and given that trade and cultural ties with Greece were preserved, the cap could well have migrated from Asia to the Mediterranean.
Pakol became the symbol of the mujahideen only in the 1980s during the Soviet-Afghan war.
Western journalists several times arranged photo sessions for the fighters of the liberation movement, thanks to which the hat got into the media space.
It is quite ironic and significant how quickly after the Soviet contingent left for the "world community" the Afghan partisans turned from "fighters for independence" into "terrorists".