Ilia the second of Georgia

Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, wearing a Russian-style skufia with jewelled cross (Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia).

Ukranian Autocephalous Orthodox (renewed) priest Yakov Krotov

A priest wearing a Greek-style skufia.

A skufia (also skufiya or skoufos) is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic monastics (in which case it is black [1]) or awarded to clergy as a mark of honor (in which case it is usually red or purple). It is a soft-sided brimless cap whose top may be pointed (Russian style)[1] [2], flat and pleated (Greek style) [3]), or flat with raised edges (Romanian style) [4]. Typically, monastics receives their skufia either when they first become a novice or when they are tonsured [5]. 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 [6].

High-ranking bishops (such as Archbishops and Metropolitans) will sometimes wear a black or purple skufia with a small jewelled cross on informal occasions [7]. A nun will sometimes wear a skufia over her monastic veil [8]; while monks often wear the skufia (without a veil) when the klobuk or epanokamelavkion might get in the way of work.


  1. 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.


  • Philippi, Dieter (2009). Sammlung Philippi - Kopfbedeckungen in Glaube, Religion und Spiritualität,. St. Benno Verlag, Leipzig. ISBN 978-3-7462-2800-6. 

External links

sr:Скуфија fi:Skufia

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