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

A skufia (also skufiya or skoufos; Greek: σκούφια or σκούφος) is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic monastics (in which case it is black) or awarded to clergy as a mark of honor (in which case it is usually red or purple).


Skufia 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.

See also


  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.
  2. Archived October 13, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Image: red.jpg, (204 × 170 px)". Retrieved 2015-10-09.
  4. "Image: red2.jpg, (217 × 151 px)". Retrieved 2015-10-09.
  6. "". Retrieved 2015-10-09. External link in |title= (help)
  7. Archived February 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Archived February 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.


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