venerdì, settembre 25, 2015


Kosita: the headgear of the Patriarchs of the Assyrian Church of the East

By Baghdadhope*

On September 27  the ceremony of the enthronement of the new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Gewargis Sliwa III, will occur in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
As it was for the appointment as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church of Mar Raphael I Louis Sako, Baghdadhope deals with the headgear typical of the hierarchy of the Assyrian Church of the East: the Kosita.
Of cylindrical shape with a flat or pleated top and a button in the center, the Kosita is wrapped by tubular black bands filled with cotton the seam of which is covered by a black band of fabric about 4 cm. wide.
Photo by Philippi Collection
Some Kositas have a bundle of black threads that goes from the button on the top to the lower hem forming a triangle and is fixed beneath the tubular bands.
Apart from the black bands  the Kosita is usually red to represent the martyrdom suffered by the members of the Assyrian Church of the East, but other shades of the same color like fuchsia, orange, light red and dark red are permitted, and much also depends on the manufacturer and on the taste of the bishop who wears it.
The number of the black bands wrapping  the Kosita may vary too. The late Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV wore a Kosita with 4 bands instead of three as more usual.
According to Mr. Dieter Philippi* there are three possible explanations: the first is that Mar Yosip Khnanisho, the spiritual father of Mar Dinkha IV, used to wear a four-bands Kosita and that it was Mar Dinkha’s way to commemorate his memory; the second is that the title that Dinkha Khanania assumed when appointed as Patriarch was Dinkha IV, and the third is that they represented the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Patriarch.
The current patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Gewargis Sliwa III has always worn a three-bands Kosita.

* All the information about Kosita comes from the blog of Mr. Dieter Philippi (Philippi Collection) who owns the largest collection of clerical, religious and spiritual headgears and who kindly gave to Baghdadhope the permission to reproduce the photos in the post. 

The 4 bands Kosita worn by the late Mar Dinkha IV.
Photo by Philippi Collection
The 3 bands kosita worn by Mar Gewargis Sliwa as Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East.
Photo by Ishtartv

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