The ak-kalpak is a traditional male head covering of the Kyrgyz people made of white felt, sometimes embroidered with signs of ancestry.
In Kyrgyz culture, the kalpak can be worn by all men without exception – from Khan to the poor, from young men to old men. They differ only in shape and color, and this is how social status, financial position and age of the owner is shown.
The tradition of giving a kalpak even entered state etiquette. When appointing officials, they now celebrate by giving a white kalpak, and the dress uniform of Kyrgyz athletes at international competitions includes white kalpak. Kalpaks are made from natural felt. Because of the thick felt of natural wool, kalpak are warm in the cold and cool in the heat, and they are waterproof.
There are about 80 types of Kalpak. Kalpaks should not be thrown, lost, put on the ground, or sold. It was believed that with him a person loses his dignity, intelligence and piety. Kalpaks must be removed with two hands and put only in a place of honor, and before going to bed you must leave it at the headboard.
The shape of kalpaks are said to resemble mountain paks.