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Pith Helmet
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Pith Helmet
Pith Helmet
Product #: GC26
Retail Value: $143.94
Our Sale Price: $119.95
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According to Wikipedia, The pith helmet (also known as the safari helmet, sun helmet, topee, sola topee (not to be confused with the French word; salope), salacot or topi) is a lightweight cloth-covered helmet made of cork or pith (typically pith from the sola, Aeschynomene aspera, an Indian swamp plant, or A. paludosa, or a similar plant). Designed to shade the wearer's head and face from the sun, pith helmets were often worn by people of European origin in the tropics, but have also been used in other contexts.

Crude forms of pith helmets had existed as early as the 1840s, but it was around 1870 that the pith helmet became popular with military personnel in Europe's tropical colonies. The Franco-Prussian War had popularized the German Pickelhaube, which may have influenced the distinctive design of the pith helmet. Such developments may have merged with a traditional design from the Philippines, the salakot. The alternative name salacot (also written salakhoff) appears frequently in Spanish and French sources; it comes from the Tagalog word salacsac (or Salaksak). During the Revolution in the Philippine-American War, Emilio Aguinaldo and the Philippine revolutionary military used to wear the pith helmet borrowed from the Spaniards alongside the straw hat and the native salakot. Originally made of pith with small peaks (bills) at the front and back, the helmet was covered by white cloth, often with a cloth band (or puggaree) around it, and small holes for ventilation. Military versions often had metal insignia on the front and could be decorated with a brass spike or ball-shaped finial. The chinstrap could be in leather or brass chain, depending on the occasion. The base material later became the more durable cork, although still covered with cloth and frequently still referred to as "pith" helmet.

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