History Of The Fez



The fez originated from the city of Fez in Ancient Morocco. The fez is also known as the tarboosh (Persian sar-boosh for “head cover”) and checheya.

The modern fez is made of felt, shaped roughly like a canister or truncated cone, tapering slightly towards the top where there is a tassel fixed to the middle of the flat top. This sort of fez is often worn by members of the Shriners fraternal organization. The difference is that the fez has four circles on top and it is custom made with shriner emblems. They adopted the fez for themselves. We cannot go into the Shriner Fez organization because some of us are shirners also. But what we can tell you is that some of us are allowed to wear our fezzes 24 hours, 360 days a week. The reason is because we inherited the Fez from our Moorish forefathers who wore the Fez during their seat of power. We are Moors by birth and not an adopted rite. The last thing we would like to say is that all moors MUST remember that Moslems are born and not made.

About 980 AD, the hajj was interrupted, and the pilgrimages of those living west of the Nile were directed to Fez as to the Holy City. A Moor in Fez supplied a new style of headdress that started to be widely used by the students of a particular school. The Moorish Fez became a mark of intelligence, and came to worn all along the northern shores of what today they call Africa. The Fez meant that you claimed your bloodline, and that you were a high evolved person. C.M. Bey said in Clock of Destiny Two, that the Red Fez represents the supreme height of practical Wisdom. This original form is still worn in Tunisia, Tripoli and Morocco tassels.

In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was looking to break with tradition and update the official dress of the empire’s civil service. He originally looked at a three-cornered hat of European descent, but his Divan pointed out that the three corners represented the holy trinity and he reconsidered. A shipment of fezzes had recently arrived from Tunisia, so they were selected instead. It was considered the special badge of a Turkish subject and all, even if not a Moslem, were obliged to wear it. Women wore fezzes as well, but the women’s were smaller and without tassels. The transition to the fez was resisted for some time, but by the end of the century Turkey was swept up by an “Europeanization” wave and the fez became a loved symbol of nationality.

Fez formerly had a monopoly on the manufacture of the hat because it controlled the juice of the berry used to color them (this information is known among manh shriners). However the discovery of synthetic aniline dyes in the 19th century allowed the manufacture spread to France, Germany and Austria. At the beginning of the 20th century Austria was the main center of the fez industry.

Kemal Ataturk, leader of the Young Turks, felt the fez was backward and dressed only in western, notably British, suits and styles. On August 30, 1925 he banned the fez in an attempt to push Turkey into the “modern world”. This effort was resisted with some fury, to the point that several riots broke out and fezzes were seized as illegal contraband. By the 1930s the fez was almost gone in Turkey when one last attempt was made to re-introduce it by a group who planned to overthrow Ataturk. This ended in deadly results with a total of some nine people shot down the streets of Omelette, Turkey.

The Fez has always been a high distinction. There was one time when it was known that only chiefs and captains wore the fez. It was recently shown on TV. If you look at The Mummy Returns, you will see that the Black Fez was worn by the Mufti’s (protectors). From 1913 to 1996 the Moorish Americans used to wear fezzes everyday. You will see them on the streets, in court, on the train, certain job sites etc. We can give thanks to the Prophet Noble Drew Ali and C.M. Bey, our constitutional lawgiver.

Well my brothers, and sisters, do not hesitate and purchase your genuine fez directly imported from Morocco. We have them for brothers, sisters and children. Regarding the sisters the fez was worn by you their without a tassel, in North America, our constitutional lawgiver never advocated that. Therefore, it is awaiting you.