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2004/37/1 Skullcap with hair queue attached, mens, hair / canvas, China, 1870 - 1900. Click to enlarge.

Chinese skullcap with hair queue

Made in China, Asia, 1875-1900.

After the Manchu-Qing rulers seized control of China in 1644, they moved quickly to establish a dress code as well as rules on hair styles for men. In the preface of the catalogue written by the Qinglong Emperor it was made clear that dress was an important indicator of ethnicity, identity and power. This was a particularly sensitive issue, as the Manchu who reigned during the Qing dynasty were a small group of nomadic people, ethnically distinct from the majority Han population who had ruled du...


Object No.


Object Statement

Skullcap with hair queue attached, mens, hair / canvas, China, 1870 - 1900

Physical Description

Skullcap with hair queue attached, mens, hair / canvas, China, 1870 - 1900

Skullcap made of off-white canvas with back half covered with long strands of black hair. The hair is caught together and plaited into a long queue at centre back. The cap is hand sewn and partially lined with brown mesh.



180 mm


180 mm



This skullcap with attached queue was made in China in the late 1800s.


China, Asia 1875-1900



This skullcap with attached queue was probably used in China during the late 1800s.

If the Han Chinese acceptance of the queue at the beginning of the Qing dynasty signified their obedience to the Manchu, then the queue cutting at the end of the dynasty denoted their attempt to get rid of Manchu autocratic dominance. In the years leading up to the fall of the Qing dynasty there were many who abandoned the queue as a show of defiance again the Manchu. It was during this time that many who changed their hair, including overseas Chinese, new students and Christians, were mocked by the majority. Sometimes these men wore artificial queues such as this one, to avoid the sneers of others, to conceal their revolutionary inclinations, or to be able to hold office.


China, Asia 1870-1900


Credit Line

Gift of Ernest Rath, 2004

Acquisition Date

1 March 2004

Cite this Object


Chinese skullcap with hair queue 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 June 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Chinese skullcap with hair queue |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 June 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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