Though hats fashioned from various meats are currently enjoying a renaissance in this new millennium, few people realize just how long this alternative haberdashery has been in existence.

In fact, there is evidence that the Aztec empire used meat in this fashion as early as 1500 AD. Montezuma often wore what the villagers called “sombrero de la pollo”, or “hat of chicken”.
In this country, the Pilgrims are generally credited with first realizing that meat is really a more sensible alternative to cloth or wool in terms of headwear.

There is also evidence of early native American Indians donning headdresses made from freshly killed buffalo when winter temperatures began to drop.

The realization that beef, chicken or pork could be functional as well as fashionable was embraced by early American colonists as well.

Benjamin Franklin was often seen strolling the streets of 18th century Boston wearing a tricorne hat made of spicy lamb.
The expression “I’ll eat my hat” traces back as far as the 19th century, usually credited to Abraham Lincoln in reference to one of his trademark stovepipe hats, which were often made of tenderloin.
The popularity of meat hats began to fade in the twentieth century, especially during the depression of the 1930’s.

Indeed, few people had the luxury of wearing meat on their heads, needing instead to feed their families with it.

Hats of meat remained ostensibly out of favor with Americans during the forties and fifties as well, despite its popularity among certain sects of the well-to-do.
The late sixties saw a brief return to prominence of hats of meat, when the “free love” generation developed the notion that wearing animal flesh as head covering was not only anti-establishment, but very handy when certain “appetite enhancing” activities were engaged in.
A distracted nation once again abandoned hats of meat during the seventies and eighties.

But as the nineties came to a close, fears of a possible apocalypse were soothed by the comfort and sensibility of meat hats.

As Y2K fears came and went, meat hats ascended to the favored status that they rightfully enjoy today.