Oatman Hat Item in Legends of Elohey | World Anvil

Oatman Hat

The oatman hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the Oatman Canyon resident, particularly the ranch hand, but adopted widely across Purgatory Gulch and the associated farms.

Manufacturing process

Fur from one of the species local to Oatman Canyon* gets scrubbed, lain out in flat fur mats, treated with a local concoction that almost certainly includes lanolin and some sort of pulped local plant, rolled up tight to wring it dry, rinsed to neutralize and rolled up or pressed a second time, then quickly shaped -- possibly using a mold, sometimes using the nearest available upturned metal pot or bowl -- into a high-crowned, wide-brimmed shape suitable for keeping sun off its wearer's face and rain off its wearer's neck.
The hat is usually some variety of beige once it dries. Those making it for themselves might carefully add certain dyes late in the process, but never anything so acidic as to interfere with the curing process or slow the neutralization afterward.
All true oatman hat connoisseurs are quick to agree that an oatman hat should never have any magic involved in its creation! That ruins its durability, or so it is said.


Cultural: a well-worn, aged hat is considered the sign of a competent independent-minded citizen in Oatman Canyon. In fact, those who for whatever reason cannot present their own hat in Purgatory Gulch are not considered competent to make adult agreements such as business deals valued greater than a single gold piece.


* Outside travelers have variously been told that it must be a Grassland jackrabbit which dined exclusively on Cactus, or that the same diet idea applies but it's the sheep doing the eating for quality of local wool, or that it must be Blue sidewinder fluff, or that this is the real reason so many Purgatory Gulch locals tend their own bunny hutches.

Oatman Hat Spice Cake by Pauline McFarlin
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Common in the northern Longgrass Plains, rare outside that region.
Raw materials & Components
  • fur or wool for the hat, cleaned and carded
  • treatment materials, gathered from higher reaches of Oatman Canyon hills
  • additional materials, probably including clean water, for rinsing and neutralizing treated felt
  • oatman band
  • leather cord, bead, and reinforcing rings for hat cord
  • smooth sheets of treated hide to use for laying out felt sheets, treating, then rolling up to wring out
  • Optional: knife with flat edge for pressing
  • rigid item of approximate diameter for intended head as a form

Articles under Oatman Hat

Cover image: by CB Ash