The Lika cap (Croatian: Lička kapa), also known as Kićanka, is an important cultural symbol of the Lika region in Croatia, part of the Lika national costume, traditionally worn by local Croats and Serbs.[a] The cap is cylinder-shaped with a flat top in red colour and the sides are black, and a black tassels often hangs down the back.
According to Supičić and Ivančević the Lika cap is a derivation of the Iapode headgear; During the Bronze Age, the Iapodes used a bronze sheet as the base of their cap, which was lined with textile or leather, and attached with a bronze fringe. Of all short round caps, the Lika cap is the nearest to the caps seen on Illyrian bronze fragments.
During Habsburg rule over Croatia, the Austrians created buffer territories against the Ottoman Turks called the Croatian Military Frontier. Here they created a military police unit who were called the Seressaner (from the Latin meaning "tent dwellers"), made up of men from prosperous Lika families.
The hajduks of Lika are said to have used this cap when fighting the Ottoman Turks. The regional origins of the cap demonstrates its affinity with other Dinaric styles, such as the Montenegrin cap and Šibenik cap. The Coat of arms of Croatia (šahovnica) is often adorned on the cap, while some older versions have repoussé designs on them. They are now worn mainly at festivals in full costume as well as national dances.
When younger men are buried they wear a red Lika cap, while older men wear a black textile cap.
- Skledar, Nikola. Simboli: socio-kulturni identitet, u Simboli identiteta, HED, 1991.[page needed]
- Zavičajna Udruga Ličana:Vrilo Mudrosti, Slavonski Brod
- Supičić, Ivo (1999). Croatia in the Early Middle Ages. London: Philip Wilson. p. 58. ISBN 9780856674990.
- Ivančević, Radovan (1986). Art Treasures of Croatia. Motovun: IRO Motovun. p. 26. OCLC 18052634.
- Historijski arhiv u Karlovcu (1973),
p. 206: "Od svih varijanata niske okrugle kape, ilirskim brončanim fragmentima najbliža je današnja muška licka kapa kićanka. Iznenađuje nas pojava da u vremenski tako udaljenom rasponu na istom tlu još uvijek Živi i postoji istovrsni karakteristični ..." p. 207: "Sve lokalne varijante crvenkapa..."Missing or empty
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- David Hollins and Darko Pavlović. Austrian Frontier Troops 1740-98. Osprey Publishing, 2005. pp 34-35
- Mara Hećimović-Seselja (1985), Tradicijski život i kultura ličkoga sela: Ivčević Kosa, p. 174,
Momku se oblači roba za mašu, udat im ženama i starijim muškarcima oblači se zakonska (vjenčana) roba. Na noge mrtvacu obuvaju se čarape. Mladim muškarcima stavlja se crvena lička kapa na glavu, dok stariji muškarci u grob nose crnu suknenu kapu...