Guest Post: The Indy Cairo Bash

March 23, 2012

We received an e-mail from Richard Hanson, an Indiana Jones hat historian. Richard added a twist to the Indy Bash that gives it a more authentic look from the first movie.


While we cannot individually tailor the bash for each Adventurer, we encourage you to add your own tweaks to the hat. A little steam and a dedicated pair of hands is all you need. You can see how to bash your Adventurer on our YouTube video.


Here is Richard’s e-mail:


I recently received your wonderful Adventurer Hat by Akubra.  The directions you enclosed for giving it the Indiana Jones look are very nice and helpful, but I thought you might be interested in one more ‘twist’ that gives it the complete true look of the hat as worn in the first movie.


If you put the hat on as is and give the hat a slight twist on the head, from the left to the right, so that the middle of the bow is moved from exactly above the left ear to about an inch IN FRONT of the left ear, and THEN put in the bash and front dent, you’ll find that the hat is exactly as it appears in ‘the streets of Cairo’ in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  The brim deforms just slightly due to the swivel and creates the precise look of Harrison Ford’s hat.  In fact, that’s exactly what he did to his.  Why?  I don’t know, but I expect it had something to do with the fact that for filming purposes, the hat had to stay on and making that slight twist virtually screws the hat onto your head.  If you watch the film or go on line and look at a few still shots from the movie, check the position of the bow.  You’ll see immediately that the bow is more forward as well as the distinct up/down deformation of the brim that comes from wearing the hat slightly off center.


I’ve been researching the Indiana Jones hat for more than twenty years now, and with the single exception of the crown being approximately 1/2 inch too short, your hat is THE HAT that appeared in the first movie [ironically, there are four different hats for the four movies…but it’s the first hat, the Poet Hat by Herbert Spenser of London that has become the iconic symbol of Indiana Jones].  It’s still possible to buy the original “Poet” hat from Herbert Spencer that was worn in the first movie, but the Akubra is a far more sturdy, long lasting, BETTER hat.  The actually Spenser Poet can’t handle rain without shrinking and losing its shape, as I have found to my considerable sorrow.  By way of comparison, my original Akubra Bushman, bought nearly forty years ago is in the same shape I bought it in after decades of rain, wind, snow, sleet, hail, and an occasional falling tree branch.  Sometimes I think that the motto you should adopt for Akubra hats would be something like “Man fears Time, but Time fears Akubra.”  I also own the Akubra Federation and the Federation IV.  Both wonderful hats.


The only other thing I would suggest is that the brim on the Adventurer should be produced rounded up and not already canted downward, the way the Federation hat comes in its unfinished state.  The original Streets of Cairo hat had a slight upsweep in the back of the brim that Ford kept so that the “Fedora Look” would be slightly retained even after the twist.  On yours, the amount of sizing in the hat makes rounding the brim upward a little difficult.  I like to think of the Jones hat as a turn of the century Fedora with a slight case of safari fever.

Thanks, Richard, for your ideas!




Adventurer Hat

Indiana Jones Whips