7 Types of Orthodox Clergy and Monastic Headgear

Miter (or Mitre) 
(Greek, lit. headscarf)

The miter is a kind of headgear, which resembles a royal crown, and is part of ecclesiastical attire of a bishop, an archimandrite, or a priest who is entitled to wearing it. There is an icon of the Holy Trinity or a six-winged Seraph on top of the miter. A bishop’s miter is crowned by a cross. There are several iconographic images around the miter. A bishop’s miter symbolizes both the royal crown of Christ and his Crown of thorns at the same time.

Skufia (Greek, lit. a cup)

A small soft pointed folding hat. The folds of the skufia form a sign of the cross around the wearer’s head. Skufia is worn daily by Orthodox clergy, monks, some novices and laymen. A monk’s skufia is black. A married priest may be awarded the right to wear a violet skufia. There is a small four-pointed cross embroidered on the Patriarch’s and the bishops’ skufias.

Kamilavka (Greek, lit. made of camel wool)

A stiff black, purple or dark blue cylinder, which slightly widens as it rises. The Russian Church began using kamilavkas after the reforms of Patriarch Nikon in the 2nd half of the 17th century. Married priests and protodeacons may be awarded the right to wear kamilavkas during worship.

Klobuk (Turkish, lit. a cap)

Klobuk is a black kamilavka with a long train divided in three, worn by Orthodox monastics.

Monks who belong to the clergy wear klobuk both during divine services and in their daily lives. Archbishops wear a black klobuk with an embroidered cross. Metropolitans wear white klobuk with a cross.

Koukoulion of the Russian Patriarch

The klobuk of the Russian Patriarch is traditionally referred to as koukoulion. The Patriarch’s koukoulion is a hard round white hat with images of winged Seraphs (aka “Zions”) on the forehead and two ends of the train. It has a small cross on the top. It is worn daily.

Koukoulion of a Schema-Monk (Latin, lit. a hood)

A soft black pointed hood with two long stripes of fabric, which cover the wearer’s back and chest. The koukoulion has images of winged Seraphs and the text of the Trisagion embroidered in white. Worn by Schema-Monks over the mantle.


It is a headscarf with an opening for the face. It flows freely down an Orthodox nun’s shoulders, back, and chest. Nuns wear apostolnik under a skufia, a kamilavka, or a klobuk.

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

Source: https://foma.ru/7-tserkovnyih-golovnyih-uborov.html