Merab Dvalishvili Hat: What Is It and Why Does He Wear It?

Do you have some questions about Merab Dvalishvili’s hat?

In this article, we’ll look at Merab Dvalishvili’s hat, what it’s made from, why he wears it, and where you can buy it from.

Merab Dvalishvili is a Georgian UFC bantamweight who’s well-known for wearing a unique-looking hat during his walk to the octagon, post-fight interviews, and UFC press conferences.

Merab Dvalishvili Hat: What Is it?

Merab Dvalishvili’s hat is a traditional Georgian hat called a Papakha, or Papakhi. The Papakha is traditionally worn by the mountain peoples of the Caucasus region, including Dagestan, Chechnya, and Georgia.

Within Georgia, Papakhas are mostly worn in the mountainous regions of Tusheti, Mtiuleti, Khevi, and Pshavi. They wear a Papakha because the Caucasus region is extremely cold during winter and the hat helps keep them warm.

While the exact date is unknown, the Papakha is believed to date back to ancient times, when they were mostly worn by shepherds and warriors in the Caucasus mountains as they were often outside in freezing conditions.

The Papakha was a symbol of honor and bravery and was also often worn by leaders and respected figures in the region.

In Georgia, Merab Dvalishvili’s hat is known as Papakha, but as Papakhi in other parts of the Caucasus.

What Is Merab Dvalishvili’s Hat Made Of?

Merab Dvalishvili’s hat, or Papakha, is made of natural sheep’s wool, most often from the wool of karakul, a breed of sheep in the region. The karakul wool is usually white or grey but Merab dyes his one brown.

It has a cylindrical/circular shape with a flat top and is often adorned with decorative elements. The inside of the hat is lined with felt or cloth for comfort and warmth.

The woolen material makes it warm and suitable for the cold mountainous regions of the Caucasus.

In different parts of the Caucasus region, the Papakha comes in different variations, the papaha or kubanka, and the design and style can vary slightly from one region to another.

Merab wears the papaha style as described above, while the kubanka style has a shorter height and a more rounded top (the main difference).

The kubanka is often associated with the Cossacks, a group of predominantly East Slavic-speaking people known as members of democratic, semi-military communities in Eastern Europe.

Merab Dvalishvili Hat: Why Does He Wear It?

Merab Dvalishvili wears the Papakha for a few reasons.

1. The Papakha symbolizes his Georgian culture and heritage which he’s very proud to represent. Papakhas are often worn on special occasions and at cultural events in Georgia, as a symbol of pride.

2. It’s common practice for fighters from the Caucasus region to wear traditional clothing during their walk to the octagon and after their fights as a way to represent their culture and heritage.

For example, Dagestani UFC fighter, Khabib Nurmagomedov, also wore a Papakha during his UFC career from 2012 to 2021. His cousin, Umar Nurmagomedov, has also worn a Papakha at times.

3. Merab often has many Georgian fans in the crowd when fighting and they love to see him honor their roots. Wearing the Papakh is a great way for Merab Dvalishvili to connect with and excite his fans.

4. It’s an easy way to remember him and it can become iconic if he becomes the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion; much like how Khabib used to wear a Papakha and how Shavkat Rakhmanov also wears a similar cultural hat.

Where Can I Buy a Merab Dvalishvili Hat?

You can buy the same hat (Papakha) worn by Merab Dvalishvili on Amazon for $90. It’s made from first-grade sheep skin and is a one-size-fits-all-all.

It only comes in white color but it can be dyed brown. The white colored Papakha was commonly worn by Khabib Nurmagomedov.


So, ‘what is Merab Dvalishvili’s hat and why does he wear it?’

Merab Dvalishvili’s hat is a traditional Georgian hat called a Papakha, worn by people in the Caucasus region, including Georgia, Dagestan, and Chechnya.

People in the Caucasus region wore a Papakha to keep themselves warm during the cold winters. It was also worn by shepherds, warriors, leaders, and respected figures in the Caucasus mountain as a symbol of honor and bravery.

Papakhas have 2 different styles: papaha and kubanka, and Merab wears the papaha style. The Papakha is often white or grey, but it can be dyed in different colors. Merab Dvalishvili likes to dye his Papakha brown/black.

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