The qeleshe or plis, also qylaf is a white brimless felt cap traditionally worn by Albanians. It has spread throughout Albanian-inhabited territories, and is today part of the traditional costume of the Albanians. The height of the cap varies region to region.
In Albanian: def. sin. qeleshja or plisi, indef. pl. qeleshe or plisa, def. pl. qeleshet or plisat.
The name qeleshe comes from the Albanian word for wool (lesh), while the name plis comes from the Proto-Albanian word *p(i)litja related to Old High German filiz id., Latin pellis id., and Greek πῖλος pilos id., also known as pileus.
The cap is part of the traditional costume of the Albanian highlanders and is considered as a national symbol of Albania,Kosovo, Western Macedonia, and Northern Greece. During the Ottoman period, the hat as a white colored fez cap was the characteristic Albanian national headgear, in particular of Muslim Albanians.
In the northern Albanian highlands, the shape is hemispherical, while in Kukës, it is truncated.[better source needed] In southern Albania, the cap is taller than in northern Albania, especially in the Gjirokastër and Vlorë regions, with the exception of the Myzeqe low plains region. In some areas of southern Albania the cap has a small protrusion. The cap is made from one single piece of woolen felt, usually white, that is molded to the shape of the head.[better source needed]
The town of Kruja is particularly known for Albania's traditional felt-makers who produce also the felt caps qeleshe.´[better source needed] The cap is used by men during the traditional weddings of the Tirana region.
Albanian music trio, Has District.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Qeleshe.|
It is generally agreed, and rightly so, that the modern Albanian cap originates directly from the similar cap worn by the Illyrians.
Ne kuadrin e veshjeve me përkime ilire, të dokumentuara gjer më tani hyjnë tirqit, plisi, qeleshja e bardhë gjysmësferike, goxhufi-gëzofi etj
From among the various caps that the Illyrians wore, one can distinguish four different types. On the monument from Zenica one can see the more common type of skullcap. Fundamentally it does not differ from the present-day small, white Albanian fez known as a qeleshe.
The qeleshe, the white felt cap worn by men, was a distinctively Albanian type of headgear both within the country and beyond its frontiers" [...] "Among the mountain people of the north it was hemispherical in form; at Kukés in the form of a truncated cone
The best place in Albania to shop for souvenirs is Kruja, where all the shops are close together in the bazaar. There are traditional felt-makers, who produce slippers and the felt caps called qeleshe