A skufia is a soft-sided brimless cap whose top may be pointed (Russian style) flat and pleated (Greek style), or flat with raised edges (Romanian style). Typically, monastics receives their skufia either when they first become a novice or when they are tonsured. A monk or nun who has been tonsured to the Great Schema will wear a skoufia that has been embroidered with prayers, crosses, and figures of seraphim.
^The Russian-style skufia is traditionally pulled down so that it covers the top of the ears. This is practical, to keep out the cold; but it also has a symbolic practice, reminding the monk not to listen to gossip.