Bronze / 2019 / Portraiture / Culture

The Last Layap Hat Maker in Bhutan

  • Prize
    Bronze in Portraiture/Culture
  • Photographer
    Dorte Verner

Another indigenous tradition is about to disappear: the culture of wearing and making Layap hats. The girls and women from the Layap tribe in the high Himalayas wear this distinctive hat since their displacement to Bhutan from Tibet in the 1500-century. They wear it to school, at home and at ceremonies. There is only ONE hat maker left, as the elder hat makers have died. The Layap hat is made from fine woven-bamboo strips with a pointed and painted colorful wooden top. Today, many women collect the high-value cordyceps. When the last hat maker dies there will be no other hat maker left.