Spanish Colonial Padre’s Hat

June 23, 2023
Young woman with red shirt and blue jeans holding a palm leaf hat with a leather crown

Constructed mainly of palm leaf and leather, the existence of this artifact, the Spanish Colonial Padre's Hat, is so rare that it was the only such hat ever found by the original collectors, Donald and Louise Yena. Topped with a distinct shaped leather crown, it appears as a classic Franciscan Friars headpiece dating from around the 1600s-1800s. The leather crown is low and rounded, while the outside brim has sewn on leather edging. The original chin strap is attached to the artifact, which consists of leather pieces running through the hat to the top of the headpiece.

I chose this artifact because of its historical significance and symbolic representation of what life was like long ago for the colonists of early Texas, and how we can use this artifact to create an exceptional perception of their historic culture. I also found it intriguing as the collector, who is 90 years old and has viewed many artifacts, has never before seen anything that resembles this specific hat. Thus, its rarity and uniqueness are something to praise, and definitely something to remember.” -Kendall Barker, Historical Research Intern

This hat is part of the Donald and Louise Yena Spanish Colonial Collection at the Alamo. This month's artifact spotlight was selected by Kendall Barker, an intern in our Historical Research department. Kendall is a rising sophomore at Alamo Heights High School, and we are glad to have her on the Alamo team this summer! If you are interested in volunteer or internship opportunities at the Alamo, please visit these pages on our website.

Palm leaf hat with leather crown on an acrylic holder
Inside view of palm leaf hat