The ages of life
For the Akha, Yi, Yao and Hmong, hats play an important role in social life. Age, status and position of the wearer can be differentiated through the shape, design and decoration of the hats.
Hats for little girls, young unmarried ladies and married women each have specific characteristics. They symbolize the rites of passage in each person's life. Young unmarried women of many ethnic groups change their hats during puberty and after getting married.
Hats for married women are often more sophisticated. In Thailand, the Akha decorate their hats with many silver adornments. The Akha Loimi adorns the back of the hats with a large silver plates.