A traditional Armenian male arakhchi headdress, 21st century
A traditional Armenian male arakhchi headdress, 21st century

An arakhchin (Armenian: արախչի, romanizedarakhchi, Azerbaijani: araxçın) is a traditional Armenian[1][2][3][4] and Azerbaijani[5] flat top skull cap headdress, worn by both men and women in the past.

Arakhchins could be sewn of various textiles, such as tirma wool and silk. However, only one single-colour textile per arakhchin was used. The textile was made into a round shape fitting the head and then decorated with embroidery, lace, beads and even pieces of gold. Men's arakhchins were relatively plain, especially those used for religious purposes.[6]

In Western Armenia, men, especially freedom fighters, wore a red arakhchin draped with a bandana with tinsel as their native headgear to identify themselves.[2] The Armenian arakhchin was a truncated skull cap, knitted from wool or embroidered with multicolored woolen thread and a predominance of red. The way this traditional headdress was worn was a marker of its owner's marital condition, just as in Eastern Armenia, the right to wear a arakhicki belonged to a married man.[3] Even though the arakhchin was traditionally a man's hat, Armenian women wore this headress as well; especially in Muş where Armenian singer Armenouhi Kevonian was known for her colorful arakhchin at her concerts.[7]

Hrayr Dzhoghk, an Armenian fedayi wearing an arakhchin
Hrayr Dzhoghk, an Armenian fedayi wearing an arakhchin

An arakhchin could be worn alone or under other headdresses, such as papakhi, a turban or a kalaghai.[5] Women's arakhchins worn as early as the sixteenth century often lacked a special sack intended for braids. By the eighteenth century, it was already one of the most widespread headgears.[8] Women used hairpins to secure their veils on the arakhchin.[9]

Arakhchins generally went out of use in the early twentieth century, with the mass adoption of European-style dress in Azerbaijan and Armenia.


  1. ^ L.S. Gushchyan (1916). Treasures of Western Armenia. Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation; Russian Museum of Ethnography. p. 52. ISBN 978-9939-9077-6-5. Man’s hat Arakhchi
  2. ^ a b Melike Batgiray (August 2019). "Of disguise and provocation: The politics of clothing in the late Ottoman empire, 1890-1910" (PDF). Ankara: İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University: 61. Der Minasian states that all the fedayees were wearing the same uniform which consists of native headgear that was called Arakhchi; a flat red tarboosh draped with a bandana with tinsel ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b Avakyan N. H. Armenian folk clothes (19th - early XX centuries). Yerevan
  4. ^ Rouben Der Minasian (1963). James G. Mandalian (ed.). Armenian freedom fighters : the memoirs of Rouben Der Minasian. Boston: Hairenik Associates. p. 71. OCLC 1300538.
  5. ^ a b P. A. Andrews And M. Andrews (December 15, 1992). CLOTHING xxi. Turkic and Kurdish clothing of Azerbaijan. Vol. V. Encyclopædia Iranica. pp. 836–840. It is the headscarf (kalaḡay, Pers. kalāḡī), made from specially woven silks, that is the most persistent of traditional garments, sometimes worn over a low (6 cm) flat topped skullcap (araqčın), almost covered with gold embroidery, or alternatively a small bonnet (täsäk).
  6. ^ Арахчын - национальный азербайджанский головной убор.
  7. ^ Kegham Kevonian (March 17, 2017). "Moush - Song: Armenouhi Kevonian". www.houshamadyan.org. Armenouhi Kevonain photographed in the attire she would often wear to her concerts. The hat "arakhchi" which she wears is from Moush and traditionally the arakhchi is a man's hat.
  8. ^ Azerbaijani Traditional Garments.
  9. ^ Leyla Mustafayeva. Women's Headgears in the Nineteenth Century. Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts. 2011