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A calash was a popular style of hat in the early 19th century. Women in this time period valued pale skin and wore hats such as calashes that shaded them well from the sun. A calash is made of a framework of wire or basket reed covered with cloth and made to fold up so that it does not take up much space or need a large hatbox for storage. The woman pictured holds a string that helps bring the hat up around her face from being folded back on her shoulders. The term "calash" comes from the French carriage or "caleche," which had a top that folded down like a fan.